Curation. The word was hotter than a steaming Bhut Jolokia chili pepper in 2011, and many social media rainmakers swept the concept around in presentations and books with more enthusiasm than a hungry Chinese drummer his chopsticks.
In a digital world where more content is being created per day than in the last two millennia, it becomes increasingly difficult to find relevant, trustworthy, and adequate content. Technically, the finding of good content and putting/pulling it together in a list is still aggregation. Curation requires more than that: it requires for the curator to give a value to it in the form of an appreciation, contextual scoping, summarizing or even re-editing. But the term curation is so hot now; it will not be bound by semantics. 😉
A decade ago, people shared content in an easy understandable way: the notorious 1 percent created content by writing blog posts on Blogger and WordPress. Other people read it, and spread it through email. Spreading now happens through a plethora of networks, including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. The syndication of authentic content through the Social Media platforms happens now mostly with one click,: the content appears out of context and out of frame in a different social ecosystem. A well thought-off piece of content on your blog might trigger a conversation within seconds on a Facebook page in Timbuktu, without the author even knowing or realizing it. Twitter’s Retweet , Google’s +1 and Facebook’s Like buttons propel astronomic amounts of data and content all over the social web, snowballing it into the darkest corners of the internet.
As a new blog platform, Tumblr added to this with a 1 button reblog function, enabling seamless content meshing. Without even having to write a single character, people can thus populate complete news and content sites… The concepts creation and curation watered down to redistribution…. often even without mentioning the original source.
Newer platforms like Pinterest, Snip.it, Storify, Scoop.it, Fab.com, Pearltrees, mySyndicaat, and Budlr make it easier for a whole generation of content re-distributors to personalize their favorite content from a timeline/stream approach into more personalized and structured board approach, where content can be fashionably “pinned” on the right “board”. In sharp contrast to Twitter, Facebook and Google+ where content is merciless bound to a fleeting timeline, the board like approach brings back memories of magazine style content consumption that a lot of people have missed online. Even, fast aggregator tools for mobile content consumption as Zite and Flipboard swear by this magazine board style approach, turning screens into comfortable e-zines.
Yelp, twitter, Facebook and Foursquare bring quick social comments on top of shared content and places, effectively adding a more credible flavor (as in adding opinion and value) to the pure aggregated content.
Social Local Mobile curation, where content and places are shared with a simple click, and value perception is added (often condensed in a line that is most probably shorter than a 140 characters :-)), will drive a lot of the social web in 2012. Social Local curation, is as laser sharp, on the spot, on the go –thus mobile-, black and white , in your face and lightning fast as it gets…. Worse than a jury, social curation judges quick and hard, the verdict relentlessly published on more online places than you can imagine.
Are you ready for it?