For some reason I haven’t said it here before, but I love PR Newswire. It is like being hooked up to an information machine gun powered by improbability drive: A chest shot of data, claims, and assorted pleas for attention, from the sacred to the mundane, that keeps coming at you, rat-a-tat-tat.
Here is a screen shot of the latest PR Newswire headlines that have poured into my feedreader:
While some might find intimidating or disorienting a collection of headlines that ranges from a Vitria conference call, to National Bosses’ Day (they get a B+), to a Madrid woman winning $220,000 playing Beverly Hillbillies penny slots, I think it’s liberating. One of the wonders of the web — and of syndication technologies in particular — is its implacable disintermediation: It is ever easier to remove the middleman and to mainline raw data.
Sure, that can be bad. If you think it’s tough to keep up with the New York Times every day, and have no idea how other more energetic sorts make it through fifty RSS feeds a day, try dealing with PR Newswire. Every time I turn around its feed is full with another 200 entries. Empty it and it fills again. And again.
And I’m elated.
Why? Because it’s back to that lexical driftnet idea again. Yes, I want other people telling me what I should be looking at, but I also want to to be able to toss out a net in a deep and fast-moving stream and just see what I catch from the raw flow. I want to disintermediate the blogosphere and go right to the source — and PR Newswire (properly filtered for keywords and interest) lets me just that.
[Update] As a sidenote, I’m particularly fond of the PR Newswire for Journalists portal. It finds interesting stuff, as well as making it easy to filter the feed down on hot topics of interest, from avian influenza to venture capital. Hey, how else would I find out that three quarters of U.S. adults are mad (a new survey says they think you can’t spend too much on environmental protection), and also run across a new Sherry Cooper economic analysis of bird flu.