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Content Curation and the Future of Digital Publishing
Paul Chaney | August 23, 2012
If you’re like me you are inundated with a constant stream of content from social networks. There is a huge need for streamlining that firehose of information to something more digestible.
In one sense, you can say that content is curated. We only receive newsfeed updates from our Facebook friends, people we follow on Twitter, or LinkedIn connections. Still, that reliance on our social graph presents no less of a problem. Just because I may friend/follow/connect with someone does not mean that I necessarily want to receive all their updates.
Filtering options are available. For example I can choose the frequency of updates from Facebook friends based on relationship or how many updates I wish to receive. I can also segment friends and those I follow into lists or circles, and create search scenarios on keywords, hashtags, etc. Still, that does not completely solve the problem.
Through the development of a new publishing platform, Medium, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, the founders of Blogger and Twitter, have set about to reinvent digital publishing in a way that casts curation in a new light – quality over quantity. Other applications – App.net and Svblte – are following suite with somewhat different ways. App.net is a fee-based version of Twitter and Svbtle is an invitation-only blog.
One publication that I rely on that places emphasis on quality is Smartbrief on Social Media. It is a daily email newsletter than hits the nail on the head by providing newsletters on topics of interest to me. It is curated by humans who do the hard work of scouring the web to find credible content and, for the most part, does a great job. (Disclaimer: I sit on SBoSM’s advisory board.)
Essentially, the question comes down to one of content creation versus content curation. These days, I’m wondering if curation shouldn’t be where we place the most emphasis.
I may be overlooking some obvious curation options and would appreciate your feedback. What are your thoughts on content curation? Are better curation options needed? What have you found that works for you?
PS: I’m testing out a couple of curation options of my own. The first is using paper.li’s newspaper-esque curation tool and produce Social Commerce Daily. The other is a new tool I found called Rebelmouse, which I like especially well (more on it later).
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