It's not a new phenomenon, distilling popular sites has been going on for some time. Why, RSS with complete article feeds just begs for it to be done in some cases. Why do it? To strip away the annoying ads that are invading the real estate of the sites front page of course.
Gawkerblog.blogspot.com calls itself "the ad free Gawker", and carries everything from Gawker, images and all, but the ads. BoingBoing Lite has been an ad-free version of BoingBoing for well over a year now, where you can also filter posts by writer. Page6blog lifts content from the Post and serves it fresh "without the ads and registration emails."
Hmmmm.. Methinks I see a pattern here! Will publishers seek out alternative venues of income or keep relying on the old "ads-every-frickin'-where" model that has proven itself quite fragile in print already, and is on the web engaged in a technical arms race of sorts when plugins like Adblock and Bugmenot removes the users need to register and ads from pages they surf?
Bonus for those who once loved Slashdot before the signal to noise ratio fucked up, try Alterslash the distilled digest.