Curation as Commodity

Curation as Commodity

As Facebook’s Open Graph adds a new layer of actions to newsfeeds and information jumps at us from every angle, the ability to curate and filter through the fluff is an increasingly valuable skill.

This is reflected in the sudden interest in Summly (a one-man Australian project that summarizes huge chunks of text via machine-learning) and the popularity of blogs like Kottke.org.

GigaOm also corroborated this trend with their analysis of Twitter’s acquisition of Summily (which is, in fact, different from the aforementioned Summly):

While the service is being closed down, it seems fairly obvious that Twitter bought the company to try to incorporate that kind of semantic filtering into its offerings — likely by beefing up its new “Discover” tab, which uses trending topics and other features to try and suggest interesting content to users. As it exists now, the Discover option isn’t very comprehensive or well-organized, and it makes sense for Twitter to try to do that better. One of the service’s challenges has always been to figure out how to keep new users engaged, since it isn’t clear to many what exactly Twitter is for.

As we’ve described before, the need for that kind of curation — whether human-driven or algorithmic, or a combination of both — is hardly unique to Twitter. Facebook also suffers from an information overload problem, one likely to be exacerbated by the launch of hundreds of new “social sharing” apps that will fill users’ feeds with oceans of “news” about things their friends and acquaintances bought or read or ate. Even Google hasn’t been able to solve the information-overload problem, despite its launch of Circles for its Google+ network: a feature many find cumbersome.

In some ways, services like Summify seem like a throwback to the early days of the web, when people wrote blogs that consisted solely of half a dozen links to interesting posts or news articles or websites.

The question becomes, how can you use this effectively in your Internet marketing and content strategy?

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