Managing information overload is hard! Search and discovery are very different. Content discovery tools offer a new approach to information consumption that brings a series of advantages over search engines: - Awareness instead of specific answers - Provide ongoing content - Focus on fresh content - Facilitate content selection by the user - Provide unexpected information
In a world that is changing so quickly, failure is guaranteed for those who don’t know what is going on. All business areas within the organization need to pay serious attention to new developments that (can) affect them.
Here I detail some of the areas for which real-time awareness is critical:
Yesterday, I curated an interesting analysis by Mathew Ingram on what Google had just done to its Search Engine, getting social in the results. I think it is interesting seeing also the counter-reactions to that move, one of the boldest being Mat Honan's on Gizmodo.
Mat explains why he feels this created less acuracy for Google and threatened the Moutain View giant's domination on the Search market: "I just switched the default search engine in my browser from Google to Bing. And if you care about working efficiently, or getting the right results when you search, then maybe you should too."
One interesting thing that Mat's point shows is the difficulty there is for an established company to act like a startup. Google has something to lose in that game. In a big way. But it's also the sign of great companies and great leaders to be able to make bold moves that are not always easy to understand first: IBM getting out of hardware, Apple extending out of the computer market with the iPod.
Back to the curated search debate, I think we could also echo the voices of all those who have growningly complained about the fact Google Search was losing its edge and discouraging quality content production efforts. I don't think Mat disagrees with them: he's just showing consumers will not wait forever for Google to come out of that evolutionary process that started with real-time search, continued with Panda and is now becoming social search.
Google (and others) seems to be convinced their long-term future is in social, however costly this might be in the short-term. Time will tell whether that was a mistake or not. But there's one thing you can't blame them for: not being willing to try.
While “information overload” has existed for years, it is becoming increasingly acute – the volume of information published on the Web now doubles every two years. This growth will only continue and the difficulty of staying on top of the flow of information will only get worse. In parallel, “information anxiety”, the fear that you are missing something terribly important, will trouble professionals who need to stay up-to-date on Web information in order to do their jobs.
Content discovery engines provide advantages not available with other tools such as social networks, RSS readers, alerts, subscriptions, etc., and can help in better manage information overload.
With content discovery engines users:
1- Follow topics, not people
2- Go directly to the Source and avoid distractions
This a great blog post from Rian van der Merwe , describing the noise you can find on the web now, and especially content just created for SEO purposes or advertisers. As many, Rian is tired of it.
"I used to believe that if you write with passion and clarity about a topic you know well (or want to know more about), you will find and build an audience. I believed that maybe, if you’re smart about it, you could find a way for some part of that audience to pay you money to sustain whatever obsession drove you to self-publishing"
"Serendipity" is the latest holy grail in the Silicon Valley software zeitgeist: an ill-defined buzzword that developers use to describe services that will connect people with online ephemera they would not normally find on their own.
All of us have areas of interest and expertise that we wish to continue developing. We want to know everything that is going on in relation to that topic. More importantly, we want to be sure we are not missing anything important.
This post explores 7 roadblocks that difficult content curation.
It is increasingly easier to publish information and increasingly difficult to consume it. This lies behind a tendency to rely on the “social graph” to filter information on the user’s behalf. Information consumption is largely limited by who we “follow” online. By following specific people we count on their ability to provide us with valuable information in the future.
The 5 hurdles to social media discovery are:
1. Dependence on social creates tunnel vision
2. It is hard to follow the “right” people
3. The user’s perspective is not challenged, instead it is reinforced
4. Professional and personal content tend to be mixed
5. Lists, Circles and Subscriptions aren’t reducing the noise
Web-awareness is a state of being where you know about everything happening on the Web about a specific topic of interest. It involves being informed about new developments, and also comprehending their causes, evolution and implications in the overall picture. It has become very difficult to stay on top of new content and remaining aware seems almost impossible. However, the current volumes of information present new opportunities for web-awareness.
There are 4 levels of web-awareness and those who take advantage of them will continually stay ahead of the curve and make better decisions.
With the unprecedented levels of published information, it is very difficult for Internet users to stay up to date on what matters to them. Technology can support content curation by computing large volumes of information on behalf of the user by helping to discover new pieces of Web information.
People no longer seek out news. Instead, it often comes to them through social networks. Journalism and information in general is all becoming more social, and this trend will only continue. So, it’s important for people in the media to think about how to make their content social and how to use their social networks to their advantage.
Social media is speedy and empowering, yet journalists are still needed to help make sense of it all. Here are 15 ways journalists and media publications have used social media, including examples using Facebook, Twitter, Storify, Foursquare and Google Plus.
1. Wall Street Journal uses Foursquare during Hurricane IreneCrisis brings opportunity.
2. New York Times Group Uses Instagram Used to Cover Hurricane Irene
3. Reuters Covers the London Riots on Storify
4. KX News Moniot Uses Facebook During A Flood
5. Alabama Meterologist Uses Social Media During Tornadoes
6. Postmedia Uses Twitter As A Reporting Tool
7. Philadelphia NBC Station Uses Foursquare to Report News
8. Rockville Central Moves its Community News Website to Facebook
9. New York Times Reporter Uses Twitter and Blogs to Improve His Work
10. NPR’s Andy Carvin and Twitter
11. New York Times Reporter Using Twitter During the Aftermath of a Tornado
12. New York Times Columnist Uses Facebook to Report from Egypt
13. Washington Post Tells A Facebook Story
14. The Trentonian Used Social Media, including Google Plus, to Cover an Apartment Shooting
Recorded Future can predict at least some aspects of the future by monitoring the Internet. Lots of the Internet.
The two-year old Massachusetts-based firm which is partly funded by Google and the CIA’s VC arm (In-Q-Tel, which makes investments to benefit the United States intelligence community) thinks this aggregated and analyzed Internet information will be especially useful in three areas — government, finance and competitive intelligence.