In the latest issue of A List Apart, Cameron Koczon writes about the state of "orbital content"—where "individual users are the gravitational center and content floats in orbit around them." Users have tremendous control over how they consume content. Applications like Instapaper push the boundaries established by RSS and Google Alerts because they can republish content in other mediums, altering context. This raises challenging questions for publishers as well as higher education institutions. How do we plan for our "content shifting"? How do we enable it to be shared while being mindful of ownership, rights and our messaging goals?
Publishers have had the ability to make their content flexible for over a decade. RSS makes it easy to share content feeds with subscribers, saving them the trouble of constantly checking back in. Recently, a series of bookmarklet apps have been slowly transferring the responsibility of making content flexible from the publisher to the user. Leading the charge of this transfer is Instapaper, which has garnered a great deal of praise for doing something called "content shifting."
Source: Orbital Content by Cameron Koczon, A List Apart, April 19, 2011