Once upon a time, some publishers thought that the proven business model for newspapers and magazines would slowly transition from print to the electronic medium. Things didn't quite play out that way. Many established media companies failed to foresee that the new medium of the internet would create disruptive new formats that would upend the old model. Exhibit A is the blog (a term which only entered the rarified lexicon of the Oxford English Dictionary in 1999). But another related yet different format deserves more attention.
Unlike the quick commentary that is the staple of the blog, the aggregator focuses primarily on pointing users to content from other sources. Some such as the Drudge Report link to news headlines, while others like the RealClearPolitics family of sites provide links organized by topic. The Browser is a general interest aggregator that emphasizes quality over quantity. The site's editor, former journalist Robert Cottrell, writing in the Financial Times, recently gave a fascinating look into what he is doing as an aggregator—and what the rise of the format means for journalism: