The challenge [for social networks] is to create something of permanent value for the community, to offer more than a temporary spotlight.
Austin Powell comes back on the recent announcement by Tumblr to shut down Sotryboard and lay off the editorial team that was highlighting and curating Tumblr's best content.
He makes a point that it's been extremely hard for most social networks - with the notable exception of LinkedIn with its influencer program - to add value by curating its users' best content.
I wonder whether that's actually such a big deal. Yes, it's hard and maybe impossible to curate Facebook's, YouTube's or Tumblr's content in a way that makes sense for all. But isn't the point of the Web 2.0 in general and social networking in particular to offer personalized streams?
We're now seeing the rise of user-driven content curation through platforms like Scoop.it that enable anyone to add value to their own social network publishing activities. Let's put them to good use!
Of course we need curated media: we had that with newspapers and TV and we still need it. I'm glad more and more people realize that now. But we don't need to replicate the old 1-to-many 20th-century-broadcast-media model where a small number of gatekeepers decide what's good to consume for everyone.
Isn't it time social networks trusted their users to become their best content curators?
Being a content curator is all about displaying information. We don't create the content, we display it. We share it - and people read it. But, first you have to display it. There are several skills involved in displaying content.
When it comes to content, the form has always mattered: from what makes a book or a movie not just interesting but great to the implicit or explicit reasons we favor this or that news site.
As Laura Brown explaines in this post, this doesn't apply just to content creation but perhaps more importantly to content curation as well.
We are used to thinking of a “mass media” market made up of large newspapers and TV networks as the normal state of affairs in media, but what if that was just a historical anomaly?
Interesting post by Mathew Ingram. It reminds me of a similar observation Mick Jagger made about recorded music. He noted that artists only made money from records from roughly 1970 to 1997: in the 60's and before, mass consumption hadn't developed enough for artists to get enough leverage against their record labels while after 1997, piracy and digital music dramtically change the whole recorded music model.
For all Content Industries including Music, Movies and Media, the anormal situation might therefore not as much be what technology did in the last few years than what it did a century ago.
When it comes to media content, technology improvements have known 2 distinct eras, one of which very recent:
- from the invention of writing until the Web 2.0, progresses have primarily focused on offering greater and greater distribution : the book, the printing press, the rotary printing press, radio, TV and event the Web 1.0 all gave access to a wider audience to a small group of content creators;
- but from the social Web's beginning, we started to talk about user-generated content and everyone could potentially become a publisher: with blogs and social media, content creation and then even content curation itself are being democratized.
So I don't know if I agree with Ingram's point that historically mass media didn't exist (if the Bible isn't mass media, what is?) but we're certainly not coming back to a 1-to-many broadcast model.
According to Hubspot.com, companies who create, optimize and promote their blogs get 55% more traffic and 70% more leads than those who don’t.
Great summary of the (smart and legit) ways of developing your online visibility by Genevieve Lachance. Content curation is one of them and the post and infographic also touches on repurposing content, commenting and other interesting social media publishing techniques.
Search engine optimization has not been dependent on a minimal number of factors for a long time now, such as number of times a keyword appeared on a page, and it continues to become a more complex web of on and off-page factors every month.
There has been a number of high level stories on how Social Media helped SEO, a number of which I've published here.
A common myth is that because social media platforms use no-follow links, they don't have SEO impact. This inforgrpahic is interesting as it describes concretely debunks it by explaining what exactly happens from an SEO standpoint when you share a link on a social network or on a social media platform like Scoop.it.
Here in the US, the Dow recently tumbled almost 150 points in a “flash crash” caused by widespread digital panic. What was the cause of this panic? Twitter.
As Clair tweeted "a single twitter handle (AP's) is hacked and the Dow tumbles 150 points."
Why? As she explains through a combination of automated trading and lack of social media usage by the traders.
Technology is great. But I'm a firm believer that the best way to leverage it is not to let it go on auto-pilot but rather have its output curated by humans - a concept we like to call Humanrithm which we apply at Scoop.it, for instance when our discovery algorithm only makes content suggestions but lets users decide what gets published and what is not.
Did we get lucky this time? Some people probably weren't and lost something in that story. But if we don't want SF movies to become real one day, we have to start educating and empowering everyone to curate social media.
The U.S. newspaper industry has lost more than $40 billion in ad revenue in the past decade — over half of that in the last four years alone — and Google’s ad revenues are now more than twice what the industry pulls in.
That one graph summarizes very nicely the recent history of the media industry. And if you add Facebook's digital ad sales to the graph (a few billions and probably already bigger than the whole newspaper digital sales or soon to be), you see how newspapers are heavily challenged for readers attention.
Most journalists now understand they need to engage with audiences, whether online or in person.
This article by Meena Thiruvengadam is interestingly describing how sharing and adding value with new insights are the best form of engagement journalists can have. “At the end of the day a successful result for us is when people somehow added to the journalism we’re doing.” she concludes by quoting one of the editors she interviewed.
"By killing Reader, Google is likely to harm a lot of publishers, large and small, by eliminating a larger source of traffic."
MG Siegler did the math: some traffic will be missing when Google shuts down Reader this coming July.
Is that bad?
Obviously the perspective of losing traffic isn't great news to Web site publishers. But for news consumers, what is really happening here? Some will replace Google Reader with other RSS-based services like Feedly. But some others will trust other sources of content like social networks or content curators and discover their benefits. Will it be bad for them? They will decide: they have an open choice (Google was by no means a monopoly on this crowded market) so they won't be harmed.
I understand his concern but what's striking to me in this argument is that it looks a lot like the concern traditional media publishers have always been expressing at the thought of a changing distribution model and innovation. When confronted with change, the reaction of a lot of established players (and yes, TechCrunch is one - not the disrupting startup it was once) is fear - instead of embracing it.
If I were a publisher (oh but wait: I'm one, if only for my Scoop.it topics), I'd care less about the loss of RSS traffic from Google Reader than making sure my content is worth sharing, worth curating and engaging. Digg, Stumble Upon and now Google Reader: a lot of historical traffic drivers are declining or disappearing to the benefit of social content & curation. And all sorts of tools and platforms will either adapt, evolve or die: it's innovation darwinism and the gatekeepers of today won't prevent it from happening any more than the gatekeepers of yesterday were able to.
The recent improvements in news distribution are astonishing. You don’t need to go to a specialty shop to find out-of-town newspapers or foreign magazines. Just open a browser. You can check on Israeli news sites when a new government is formed or during an American presidential visit and ignore them the rest of the year. The Internet also brings the enormous back catalog of journalism to life. That five-year-old Anderson essay on Cyprus is still relevant today. Recalling that he wrote a book on the island, I looked up an old Christopher Hitchens column on Cyprus yesterday evening.
White we keep talking about information overload and it's problems (some even suggesting an information diet - a very Malthusian concept to me), we forget all the good things that come with it and this insightful article makes excellent points highlighting them. The financial problems of media publishers don't mean news consumers are worse off: they're actually better off. Not only because they enjoy more supply hence more choice, but also because consumers benefit more and more from new distribution models such as social networking but also content curation platforms which brings different context and perspectives from various people adding their own expertise to news.
So shouldn't we maybe refer to information overload as information abundance to give it the more positive spin it deserves?
Mobile devices, with the help of social media, are taking over media creation.
As someone who've been 15 years in the Mobile Industry (my previous startup was a mobile music platform called Musiwave), I've always believed in the power portable devices had to transform the way we're doing things. What's fascinating to me today is the opportunities offered by the collision of social and mobile. As we blogged last week upon introducing the v2.0 of our iPhone App, new media creating techniques like content curation are ideally positioned to unleash the power of smartphones.
This is a great story on how the remix culture can actually be leveraged by copyright owners. And which is a great follow-up to Matthew Ingram's post on the clash between the two which could lead to a new prohibition.
The world has changed and so did the economy. From an agricultural to an industrial world, we've now moved into the post-industrial era where knowledge is the true currency and a lot of us are knowledge workers.
In this great post, Elia Morling explains how he views content curators as playing a key role as a "money handlers, changers and lenders all wrapped into one."
Curate Content Like You Mean It!: A Guide to Engaging Content Curation
Nicely argumented post on why content curation is not a marketing fad in these days of opportunity and challenge created by social media. By reminding us of key facts and data points from surveys showing the importance of content curation in a content marketing strategy, John Bhrel does a great job putting together this guide.
Google Trend graph for "rss" - bad news. I recently wrote a blog post about moving all my RSS readers to email subscriptions, and I immediately got 30+ negative comments on it. Obviously it struck ...
Interesting post by Andrew Chen on the demise of RSS and what we can expect to see after that. As a blogger, he decided to move all his RSS subscribers to email (as yes, email is alive and kicking).
Beyond observing this trend, he also makes interesting comments on why this is ultimately good for content creators (though he also got angry comments for his move): alternatives like social curation, integrated readers and email offer better feedback loops for content creators helping them iterate their content based on measured engagement.
This infographic shows how email marketing campaigns have benefitted from new technology and have also found a niche among media outlets and small business owners.
Devon Glenn from the Social Times picked up our infographic on the role email plays as part of a content marketing strategy, specifically for small businesses. Just like email is one of the secret weapons of social networks and media outlets, it can and should be leveraged to engage and develop an audience.
Curation is an irreplaceable part of the new content consumption and knowledge-sharing cycle just as passive readers are becoming an irreplaceable part of the curation cycle. This union is the ideal environment for smart, immensely valuable, and educational content on the web to proliferate and spread like wildfire, which ultimately what we want. A smarter world is a better world.
From a "Adapting Journalism to the Web," a conversation between Jay Rosen and Ethan Zuckerman held April 5, 2012. Full video at http://techtv.mit.edu/collect...
Great insightful points on what curators should bring to their audience by one of modern journalism's gurus. Beyond the points themselves, it's great to see journalist of the caliber of Jay Rosen recognize independant non-journalist curators as a meaningful community that matters.
Google just revealed plans to shut down eight of its services as part of what it’s calling an ongoing spring cleaning effort. Some of them are pretty arcane, but among TechCrunch writers, anyway, we’re pretty bummed to see that Google Reader will be shut down on July 1.
This will probably come as a shock for the loyal fan base of Google Reader but "the Google" is shutting it down. I'm biased of course but I'm not surprised.
As Frederic Lardinois of TechCrunch put it, RSS keeps playing an important role in the "backend plumbing for many web and mobile apps" and it surely introduced many of us to the idea of real-time content feeds. But with social media taking over, RSS readers have been outgrown on many fronts:
- by social networks that brought serendipidty and discovery
- by more beautiful readers like Flipboard and Pulse
- by smarter and more relevant ways to filter information such as Prismatic or our own content suggestions
- and by more integrated ways to combine content discovery and curation like Pinterest, Tumblr or our own Scoop.it platform
I can not help but think this comes right when our own Read.it iPad App - our interest-based reader that just launched last week - made it to the home page of the App Store and within the Top 15 of its category. This is just an experiment for us right now but the simple fact of having it picked up and promoted by Apple is a nice acknowledgment of the role that community of curators like Scoop.it's can have in organizing the Web on a long-tail of interests in a much better way than algorithms, social networks or... RSS.
Facebook founder and hoodie-wearing CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims that local newspapers influenced the newly redesigned News Feed. He even compared today's update to a local newspaper, the nonexistent...
Good point here by Nathaniel Mott on PandoDaily. But as he writes, Facebook remains edited by an algorithm that has to make some trade-offs between revenue generation and relevancy. Isn't that a fundamental flaw?
"once you start gathering content to share, you begin to realize it’s a bit more complicated than you thought. It takes a bit of focus and creativity to find good content and then organise it."
Sarah Arrow gives interesting tips in that post but the bigger point she makes is that content curation requires some organization and works best when integrated within a workflow that makes it easy. Whether you're using organized RSS feeds, iPad readers like Flipboard or platforms like Scoop.it, the whole system should make it efficient for you to scan through content without distraction and publish your best picks in a way that feels natural.
And as I commented on her blog post, I’m a big believer of using your idle time for curating content using your mobile: on top of making this time useful, the mobile platform also addresses the “Shiny Object” temptation she's describing and unchains content curation. Don’t you find the smaller screen and the use of the mobile format lots of blogs and media are now using also helps being less distracted and more focused?