that "Long Tail" ?
There's a provocative post at O'Reilly Radar called "The Economics of Disaggregation" that provides links to some potent arguments about the conventional wisdom about how aggregators (Yahoo, Google) benefit more than producers of content (you).
It starts with this sobering synopsis of the argument from Slate, including this:
Fresh thinking about what ails newspapers arrived in yesterday's (Nov. 29) Wall Street Journal, where staffer William M. Bulkeley contributed a column titled "The Internet Allows Consumers to Trim Wasteful Purchases." Bulkeley explains how the photographic film industry, encyclopedia publishers, the music industry, and the advertising industry feasted on buyers by forcing them to purchase things they didn't want—prints of all 24 shots from their camera or a whole album to secure one favorite song, for example. "The business models required customers to pay for detritus to get the good stuff," Bulkeley writes. But digital cameras, the Web, iTunes, and search-related advertising have stripped those industries of their power to charge for detritus.
Bulkeley could have easily applied the wisdom of his lesson more broadly to newspapers. It's not that the complete gestalt of local, state, national, and international news plus sports, comics, classified, opinion, and hints on fashion, home, entertainment, and food isn't still useful. It is. But given a choice, and the economic means to make a choice, many buyers prefer to make an unbundled purchase. Unbundling the news they want from the news they don't want is what the Web allows readers to do now.
Also linked from O'Reilly are alternative points, mainly arguing that while consumers may benefit from disaggregation, that's not the aggregators' intention: they just wanna make money. And in a capitalist economy, somebody will.
One lesson for us is unassailable: nobody has to come to newspapers for a one-size-fits-all news/reader experience nowadays. We have to build audiences in many ways, on multiple platforms, through varied channels. People who come upon your information via search engines may never even see your home page, much less your newspaper. But we have to make that info useful for them, and make them valuable to some advertiser.