If you have spent any time swimming through the personal finance blogosphere, then you are MORE than aware that there are two new sites, both named PFBLOGS, which aggregate the feeds of several personal finance blogs.
I have linked to both sites in my blog roll, and I have received traffic from both sites. There are several noticeable difference between the two. First, the names.
pfblogs.COM and pfblogs.ORG
Second, the .COM version displays Google Ads, the .ORG version is Ad-Free.
Third, the .COM version covers about 90 blogs, and the .ORG version covers just over 200.
Fourth, the .COM version displays 15 posts at a time, while the .ORG version displays 25.
Now, for what they have in common. They both do a great job of aggregation, and they both pretty much eliminate the need for a long blog-roll of pf sites. (I’ll be hanging onto mine though! I love my humble blog-roll…) As for the controversy, I see what others have written, about the fact that .COM is making money off of content that he does not produce, and I really have no problem with this. He’s providing a service, and if he can make some cash off of the service, that is fine by me. I also see the other side of the argument at well, and I am glad that someone is willing to do the work of aggregation for free. I am a capitalist, and I think that the market will work this thing out. One will live and the other will die, or they will both live on, branching out and changing as necessary. Who knows. That is what is cool about the internet, the web, and this new fast-changing economy. Life and death, over and over and over.
As for my personal favorite, I don’t really have one. They both do basically the same thing, and they both do it well. Some of the sites on the .ORG site are old and no one has posted to them is some time, but the .ORG site makes that clear by making their link color very, very faint. (This was a GREAT idea, by the way.) I really like the shear number of sites he lists, because I like to click through tons and tons of sites every day. The .COM site seems to be a bit more focused on just personal finance sites. The problem there is that some sites have requested that he remove them from his site, because he is displaying ads. Hmmm… My prediction is that either the .COM site will take hold because of the .com ending (and the clearer focus) or the .ORG site will prevail because content providers will allow him to continue linking to their sites (and the broader coverage). We shall see… It is a classic case of ordering the “special” for the “buffet”. How much is enough. How much is too much. Where will the balance be found?
(This is, I think, my very first post about the “personal finance blogging community”. I don’t really usually focus on these types of things, but I think that this is a big deal. For full disclosure, the operator of the .COM site contacted me just after starting his site, and I gave him my blessing for including my site. I have no problem with the fact that he is running ads, and I wish him all the best. I am not into “controversy” for “controversy sake”. I am, however, interested in watching the micro and macro economics of these particular sites. It fascinates me that there are two sites doing basically the same thing, with similar and different motives behind each. It will be neat to revisit this in a years time, and see where both sites stand.)