To be honest, I cringe every time I hear the word. This is due, in large part, to its constant misuse.
About 99% of web "curation" is just "stacking". Find something new and put it on top, old stuff gets buried on bottom.
— Gregg Blanchard (@slopefillers) July 15, 2014
But curation, real curation, is something the internet needs more than ever.
Out of Control
The internet created amazing opportunities for communication. But as with any platform, a business model was quickly teased out of the combination of digital sharing and humanity’s appetite for entertainment.
As the online media industry has boomed, so has the volume of content. YouTube uploads, for example, have grown exponentially.
This same trend is seen across most online media channels. Simply put, more content is being generated than ever before.
But humans have a finite capacity to consume. It’s why the decrease in Facebook page reach we’ve all seen is largely our fault: Facebook held NewsFeed volume constant and we just kept trying to dump more and more in to the same people.
But when you overlay these two concepts like Mark Schaefer did, this is what you get.
Source: Businesses Grow
Mark actually describes this really well.
“This intersection of finite content consumption and rising content availability will create a tremor I call The Content Shock. In a situation where content supply is exponentially exploding while content demand is flat, we would predict that individuals, companies, and brands would have to “pay” consumers more and more just to get them to see the same amount of content.”
To clarify, Mark describes “paying” for content as the cost of content creation versus the value one gets out. “For argument’s sake, let’s value my time at $100 per hour. So with 5 hours of content creation in 2009, I was “paying” my readers $500 in my time to consume my content each week.”
In other words, we have more content than we know what to do with and the value we get back for every hour spent creating is quickly diminishing.
Keep that idea in mind as we get back to curation.
As you read Wikipedia’s definition of digital curation, try to pick out the words that do and don’t apply to how we manage our social timelines, blogs, or resources.
“Digital curation is the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets. Digital curation establishes, maintains and adds value to repositories of digital data for present and future use.”
Did you see them? Let’s start with what applies:
Put those in a sentences – we collect content by selecting and using what’s presently happening – and you’ve got a pretty good definition of content and social media strategy.
But it’s the rest of those words…
…where the opportunity lies.
Put those in a sentence – add value to important content by preserving and maintaining an archive for future use – and you’ve got a very different concept.
Or, as Marcus Sheridan put it:
— Lee Odden (@leeodden) October 10, 2013
Give yourself a second to think about that.
The more I look at this, the more I feel like something is shifting in who will win the content war. And, as I’ve tweeted before, it may not be the creators.
Content growth + finite consumption + need for cream to rise = prediction: tomorrow's content celebs will rise on platforms like @curatedhq.
— Gregg Blanchard (@slopefillers) November 18, 2015
Curation has been a buzzword for a while, but nobody has really been doing it.
Funny thing is, that’s exactly what we need. If a resort can truly curate the content their guests would need/want before, during, and after their vacations, if they can do it online, in print, or in the inbox, if a resort can see the value in resurfacing valuable content and making it evergreen…maybe, just maybe, they’ll have a head start on the next big thing.
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