Why the SmartBrief Service is Outdated (A Review)

1999 just called, and SmartBrief answered the phone. Here's an outdated service which aggregates site content, then emails it to subscribers.

The premise behind SmartBrief is simple: there’s too much information
out there and too little time in the day to read it all. Our editors
hand-pick the most relevant and important news from all over, summarize
it, link to the original sources and deliver it -- for FREE -- in
one-stop-shop e-newsletters.

What they're doing is providing something that their clients should
already be doing, so the need for this kind of a service is minimal.
Maybe it's nice for websites that don't have a strategy to get
information out. But then those websites have deeper problems.
This is inferior to visiting the site's blog or checking it's RSS feed.
There might be value in having this third party aggregate site content
to email to people, but that's a push model that has been abandoned
since the 90's. Overall I don't see much in what SmartBrief is doing.
I'm not going to subscribe to it. If I want information from a given website,
I'll go to there. Or I'll subscribe to their newsletter directly.
Where's the value add of a third party filtering the content? It's not
even adding value to the content itself by connecting readers or doing
anything innovative. When I read a blog post on a website, I can
comment on it and have a discussion with other readers.

Where's the interaction with this newsletter format? There is none.
The future is with things like Facebook Connect. News sites (CNN, CBS)
are beginning to use it for their commenting systems. So instead of
anonymous commentors writing low quality comments, people are using
their real names via Facebook directly on the website and writing
serious, thoughtful comments.

Their Alexa rating is rather high given the lackluster service they provide.This was the only positive thing I could find about the company while writing this SmartBrief review.

As for how it relates to site publishers, I wouldn't waste my time in getting
them to publish my content. Perhaps if it's free for the site, then why not
take advantage of yet another vector to customers.