Seeking Alpha this weekend announced three new initiatives relating to its contributors.
The initiative that has gotten the most attention is that they will begin to share revenue with contributors, at a rate of $10 per thousand page views. The revenue share comes at a cost, however. Only posts that are exclusive to Seeking Alpha are eligible for the revenue share, and contributors must grant Seeking Alpha an exclusive license to use that content in perpetuity in any way that it wishes. Reuters blogger Felix Salmon addresses that issue in great detail on his blog, so I won't dig into it in great depth here, only to say that for most professional bloggers, who syndicate their content via Seeking Alpha, this will not be an attractive option.
Second, they've announced a revamp in their "leader boards", now providing more granular rankings, showing the most popular bloggers by category, rather than the old leader board which provided overall rankings by number of followers.
Third, and perhaps most significant for most contributors, is that they have begun to post actual page view counts for their contributors. For example, in the Internet category, the Alacra Pulse Check blog was the 4th most viewed source for the past 90 days, generating 33,100 page views.
While the revenue share will likely appeal only to a small subset of Seeking Alpha bloggers (primarily those who post only on SAI today), gaining some visibility into usage is important to all of us. Unlike some aggregators, who post only a snippet from a story (our own Alacra Pulse, for example), Seeking Alpha includes the full text of each post on its site. That's good for Seeking Alpha (and probably for the reader) but it leaves publishers in the dark as to how their content is being used.
Publishers and bloggers typically syndicate their content to Seeking Alpha to drive brand awareness, since there's little reason for users to click back to the native site. By providing usage stats, Seeking Alpha has begun to quantify for publishers the value of that brand awareness.
While providing exclusive content to Seeking Alpha doesn't make sense for Alacra today, gaining visibility into usage is a big improvement on the site and the most important of the new features in my opinion.