Web of Words as a Service

I’ve been playing around with this idea for an email newsletter type of thing (as that just seems to be the thing to do these days!).

The basic premise of the idea is one important or influential article that has shaped the way we think about the web and digital space sent in full once a week at prime commuter time (say 8am Wednesdays?) reproduced in plain text (but with attribution front and centre see below for a format idea) so that it can just be read on a phone (including *shudder* a Blackberry or feature phone).

I originally started thinking about this as something for decision makers and higher ups who haven’t been immersed in this stuff for the last decade and aren’t likely to have the time to really start piecing together all the thinking that got us to where we are today (for better or worse.) What I don’t know is how they would find out about the service to know to sign up – unless people sign up for them 🙂

Clearly given I am the person who is going to be putting it together it is likely to lean towards the ‘open’ end of the web with a fair coverage of the civic/gov stuff but hopefully it will be more general than that. Also I’d like to think people would recommend articles as well via Twitter etc.

If I started in January and went for a year – 52 articles would offer anyone a pretty decent education in ‘digital by default’ thinking.

I’m a bit dubious as to whether from a copyright sort of thing this would be OK when I strayed from articles with a CC type licence but hopefully someone will point it out if that is a real issue.

What do people think? Worth a go?

**UPDATE 20:30 15/12/13**

So the general consensus seems to be that (a) it is not a bad idea at the core but (b) it is almost certainly breaking all sorts of copyrights laws.


Plan B is now in effect.

Still one link per email but instead of the full article three or four bullet points summarising the main points and then a line or two summarising why it is important (or at least why I think it is). The articles/essays/posts will come from any and all corners of the web and from any point in the last decade as long as there is still a live web page to link to. For example I think it would be remiss not to include Cluetrain in something like this despite the age of it.

I have a list of about 15 I think are important but I’d like to crowd source 50 or so really – so feel free to chip in if you are reading this.

Thanks to Tom and Stef for the advice.

This article originally appeared at [original website link] on the [date] and was written by [name and link to web presence if possible]

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