In a recent post for The Atlantic, Derek Thompson investigates what drives people to read content online. As a writer for a popular news site, it’s of interest to Thompson to find out what people are clicking on and why when navigating through the endless amount of web content available. Though it sounds like a boring study of analytics at first, his findings and references are actually super interesting.
This is a guest post Ally wrote for business2community.com where she comes back on what makes the difference between popular and relevant and how we've been forced to make a choice between the two before.
The good news is that with content curation becoming not only mainstream but also interest-based this is no longer the case (as Nick Peachey also recently explained in an interesting comparative analysis).
Edward Montes makes a very important point in this post: we are not using the right currency to measure what's important for media (readership quality but of course advertising). We're still counting page views and clicks but what matters is attention.
Content is developing into a new economy where the scarce resource is attention - not content. While some see this shift in the value chain as a threat, it is clearly an opportunity to embrace by becoming the trusted resource in a domain as a content curator.
In an earlier post for paidContent, I looked at the broad similarities between the automotive-manufacturing industry and the media business — specifically newspapers — and how disruption has affected both in some fairly similar ways.
Mathew Ingram makes an interesting parallel between the car industry and the media industry, naming the HuffPost a clear disruptor and now BuzzFeed poised to be the Telsa he's looking for.
If you've followed the topic for a while, you know I also like to make comparisons with the music industry - the market where I built my previous company, Musiwave. That market was also clearly disrupted not by competing music labels but by platforms:
2. iPod / iTunes
Similarly, platforms seems to me to be much more disrupting to the media industry than the HuffPost or BuzzFeed - two companies that are smartly taking advantage of these changes:
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.
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?
With speculation that Facebook might be launching an RSS reader at its press event next week, it’s important to think about why users loved the Google Reader experience. Hint: it wasn’t because Google Reader was social.
Pretty good summary by Eliza Kern on why Facebook is not the right place to have a Google reader replacement.
While social news make sense, there's a different between the social graph (that Facebook is based on) and the interest graph (relevant personalized stories). As I once wrote here, we need to combine social and interests in a topic-centric social media to combine discovery and relevance.
But what do you think? Would you like Facebook to come out with an RSS reader?
I’m going to keep this brief, because you’re not going to stick around for long. I’ve already lost a bunch of you. For every 161 people who landed on this page, about 61 of you—38 percent—are already gone.
Interesting analysis shows very few people read articles completely online (but maybe it's the same offline and we just don't measure it). We scan, we skip, we browse but we rarely read.
Of course this means a lot with regards to content and web page design. But it also means that we as curators have a responsibility to bring enough context and meaning to convince our readers that a curated article or video is worth 1-3 minutes of their time. We live in the attention economy and our readers' minutes are precious.
Kudos to Brian Yanish for made me discover that great analysis as well as another great curator - Peg Corwin - in the process. Thanks!
Brilliant analysis by BuzzFeed's Rob Fishman, also a former social media editor at the Huffington Post. Developing the idea that social media is now too important to be handled by a single person, Fishman also gives a detailed description of the complex relationship between the Media and Social Media.
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.
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?
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.