: "Once upon a time - January 2000, to be exact - I wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review called Hypermediation: Commerce as Clickstream. In the early days of the commercial internet, it was generally assumed that the web was a force for disintermediation, that it would allow producers and consumers to connect directly, killing off middlemen along the way. I suggested that this view had it wrong: that while some traditional intermediaries were being cut out of the picture, myriad new ones were arising in their place:
Far from experiencing disintermediation, business is undergoing precisely the opposite phenomenon - what I'll call hypermediation. Transactions over the web, even very small ones, routinely involve all sorts of intermediaries, not just the familiar wholesalers and retailers, but content providers, affiliate sites, search engines, portals, Internet service providers, software makers, and many other entities that haven't even been named yet. And it's these middlemen that are positioned to capture most of the profits.
The hypermediation phenomenon is continuing in the Web 2.0 world of online media. We're seeing the emergence of another new set of diverse intermediaries focused on content rather than commerce: blog subscription services like Bloglines, headline aggregators like Memeorandum, blog search engines like Technorati, ping servers "