May 11, 2010
Pearling Your Way to the Best StoriesSteve Rosenbaum's recent article: "Why Content Curation is Here to Stay" really resonated with me, not surprising given how much time I have been spending organizing and curating content in the past couple of months. This has largely been to three factors: information overload is killing me, I can't keep up with the increased content I receive daily in multiple inboxes (I include social media platforms here) and the fact that I've been doing some work with Pearltrees, an online curation tool.
He writes, "the debate pits creators against curators, asking big questions about the rules and ethical questions around content aggregation."
And then quotes Clay Shirky: “Curation comes up when search stops working. Curation comes up when people realize that it isn’t just about information seeking, it’s also about synchronizing a community. Part of the reason that human curation is so critical is simply the vast number of people who are now making and sharing media. Everyone is a media outlet. The point of everyone being a media outlet is really not at all complicated. It just means that we can all put things out in the public view now."
Frankly, search rarely works well for me unless I'm looking up a particular restaurant, hotel or phrase or reference on Google and for the latter, invariably I'm brought to Wikipedia or Answers.com.
Natural web curators are people who spend time online regularly - they're educators doing research on topics, marketers monitoring trends, journalists working on stories and fact checking references, bloggers linking to other people's work and ideas, content creators and type-a personalities who are anal at staying organized.
Everyone loves to organize 'something,' whether it's a teenager who loves to organize their room, a college student who spends time organizing their iTunes playlists, an avid reader who organizes their book collection or a geek who organizes the latest gadgets & tools from multiple sources on the web.
Bookmarking can only take you so far and while a lot of my colleagues are avid users of delicious, it doesn't work for me. My brain doesn't think like 'delicious,' yet I have played around with it and other popular tools so I'm aware of how they work and can learn what a particularly sub-set of people want from an organization and productivity tool.
Human curation provides tremendous value for those who do it and want to access that data later and for those who tap into their wealth of connections and links they've filtered. The way a set of links is displayed can make or break an experience however.
I've been playing with the Pearltrees' (who I advise) new super embed feature in the past week and the AHA moment I'm having as a right brain thinker who loves visual displays and learning through graphics and images is that pearling converts human curation into a unique and compelling story.
It's easy to get 'hooked' on curating when its visually interesting and fun, even moreso when your curation tells a story that hooks others. For example, in about ten minutes, I created two interesting Pearltrees, one entitled the World of Ben Parr (from Mashable) and another one entitled Ben Parr on Mobile (articles, videos and more about mobile from his perspective).
You can navigate from pearl to pearl without ever leaving my blog and I was able to extract only the data I DECIDED to extract from the web about Ben's world and about his thoughts on mobile. It's a beautiful thing: I, as the human creator decides, not Google.
Below is a much smaller Pearltree on Rafe Needleman & Journalism, which took me about a minute to create. I could have expanded to include past articles, videos, interviews and tweets that included content and perspectives from Rafe on journalism, but in this case, I decided -- as the human curator -- to give my audience just a taste.
Below I grabbed the sections of CNET Webware that I find most valuable and left the categories that don't interest me as much. This Pearltree presents my selection, which I can edit over time. Future edits could be the addition of a Pearltree that Robert Scoble or David Pogue created, one that might be related to a particular topic or held a perspective that was aligned in some way.
Here's what else is cool: I can grab someone else's Pearltree from their blog or within Pearltrees to embed in my site or blog. For example, below is a Pearltree IDC's Michael Fauscette created on SmartDataCollective. He used a Pearltree to highlight content on Social Business. The Pearltree tells its own unique story and I can jump from reference to reference, all while staying within his blog -- much faster and more unified than jumping off the site and then from one web page to another. You can also imagine how powerful it can be for a blogger or journalist to embed a Pearltree showing references and resources that led up to their final conclusion.
Another interesting way to use curation in a visual way is to have a series of pearls representing comments on Twitter or a blog post about a particular band or politician, or feedback from video, podcasts, Digg, Twitter, blogs and more following a Steve Jobs keynote or what about positive sentiment about your brand? Below is a quick snapshot of Web 2.0 Expo's San Francisco event from one person's perspective, which you could add to your own.
Below a Pearltree showing clients from a web & social media management consultancy for the music industry.
* We’re living in an era of content abundance.
* Even prolific creators are going to end up mixing their created content with a mix of curated sources.
* Creators, distributors, aggregators, and curators are all economically essential parts of the value chain.
* Advertisers will embrace trusted ‘places’ over trusted sources — large curated collections will achieve higher CPMs.
Hear hear and that's my point. Content overload is killing us.....help me filter please. Even the smartest aggregators can't replace human ones from sources you trust or share similar interests. And, advertisers and others will think the same way since the value will be that much higher. After all, value and quality is what we're ultimately after, not just high numbers.
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an even where I really want to go to! Gee Robin Williams is really old.
Posted by: I Need Money Desperately | May 18, 2010 9:13:26 AM