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Guillame DeCugis: "This is a very interesting piece by Erin Griffith (again!) on the potential scalability issues of content curation. You can pass quickly on her first part where she easily bashes the usual concerns about the curation word being overhyped and over used.
She makes a really good point on her second part, building on the experience of Behance, the platform to publish one's creative work: using a mix of algorithms and human curation is a part of the answer to this scale issue.
But another way to scale curation is to add a topic-centric layer. In the problem she describes (which is typically Behance's problem), scaling up is tough because curation is being applied to sort out the best content on a unique dimension: a home page that's the same for everyone.
"Behance’s front page could no longer display what algorithms determined was the most popular art within [the] site’s community. Because of boobs. They are universally the most popular thing on the Web, and not even a tasteful, creative site like Behance is safe when the “wisdom of the crowd” is involved.
To be clear — boobs are welcome on Behance, but the site skews toward commercially viable work. A porn pit may entice creative directors but not in the way Behance wants to entice them." she funnily writes.
If you added topics to that, you can solve the problem by having people follow whichever topics they want.
And I'm not talking about the usual 10-20 categories you find on any content sites. I'm talking about long-tail, user-created topics that any user can opt in to follow or unfollow. Boobs fans can then follow dozens of Boobs topics curated by other fellow users without having to pollute the experience for everyone else.
By mixing a topic-centric model with curation, you apply it to as many dimensions as your users will decide to curate. That's the model we've been using at Scoop.it and so far, it scales pretty well, doesn't it?"
Robin Good: For the record you may want to check this video of Gabe Rivera from Techmeme at LeWeb 2008 already discussing this issue and arriving at the same conclusions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Zi_U6iZxU there's no way to build a perfect news or aggregation engine. The best solution is indeed a mix of aggregation and filtering tools matched by a topic-expert curator.
Via Guillaume Decugis, Heiko Idensen, Robin Good, Beth Kanter
Lingspot is an enterprise level content curation platform capable of automatic content aggregation, filtering and in-depth content editing.
The Lingspot platform is made up by two key components:
The Editor, which makes it easy even for the non-technical publisher to turn the curated content streams into complete self-updating pages. More info: http://corp.lingospot.com/products/algorithmicpublishing/editor/
a) Through a variety of third party relationships, Lingospot can aggregate topic-targeted multimedia, including photos and videos from professional sources (such as the Associated Press, Bloomberg, NBC, CBS, Forbes, etc.), as well as user generated photos and video, such as from Flickr and YouTube.
b) Whether it's books on Amazon or auction items on eBay, Lingospot can aggregate product information related to a specific topic. This topic-specific merchandise can be purchased by your readers with only a few clicks.
c) Lingospot allows your readers to initiate a conversation about a specific topic on the page where you are aggregating content about the topic. This turns every Topic page created by Lingospot into a micro community, where readers can connect with other readers interested in that topic.
Key features and tech specifications: http://corp.lingospot.com/products/algorithmicpublishing/specs/
Case studies and examples and examples of companies using Lingospot: http://corp.lingospot.com/customers/casestudies/
Pricing: a basic account starts at $500/month.
See more info here: http://corp.lingospot.com/products/algorithmicpublishing/pricing/
Find out more: http://corp.lingospot.com/products/algorithmicpublishing/
(Reviewed by Robin Good)
Via Robin Good
This is an excerpt from a Mike Shatzkin article published in 2009 and entitled: "Aggregation and curation: two concepts that explain a lot about digital change."
If you are into curation, aggregation or into understanding why traditional publishers, record labels and newspapers are struggling so much in this digital era to keep their traditional services and products sustainable, you will likely find some eye-opening answers and explanation in here.
Here the key takeaways I have found inside it:
"Aggregation is one of the core concepts of content presentation and commercialization.
Any analysis of what happened to the record business, what is happening to newspapers, or the future of books and bookstores and magazines and TV that does not feature this concept prominently is almost certainly flawed.
Aggregation, of course, simply means pulling together things which are not necessarily connected.
Curation is a term that has always referred to the careful selection and pruning of aggregates, such as for a museum or an art exhibition.
But the concept in the digital content world means the selection and presentation of these disparate items to help a browser or consumer navigate and select from them.
Aggregation without curation is, normally, not very helful."
The music album, the CD, the newspaper.
"...one thing has been common to all of them and to all other newspapers: they cover the waterfront. (I have called that being “horizontal.”) They aggregate news of the world, the nation, and the city with sports, weather, stock quotes, advice to the lovelorn, and many other things.
They sell almost all their advertising against the aggregate and against the brand, not against any specific item or interest being aggregated.
And the competition for each paper is against other curated aggregates.
Newspapers sold the curated aggregate to people who didn’t want most of it because the total price was a good deal for the parts they did want, just like the album was a good deal even if you only liked some of the songs. And now they are suffering precisely the same fate as the record album.
The unit of appreciation is smaller than the [aggregated] whole.
So the long story short on newspapers is this: a business model of selling a horizontal (many-subject) aggregate, curated by something other than subject, was based on the economics of a physical world where aggregation produced efficiencies of production and distribution.
The Internet changed that.
It is no longer necessary for an aggregator to provide news to deliver me sports, or to provide a whole newspaper to deliver me the weather or a stock quote.
The importance of curation becomes more prominent.
...the more horizontal is the collection, the less likely it is to work in the digital world."
Must read. 9/10
(Unearthed by Peter Hoeve - Curated by Robin Good)
Via Robin Good