People Curation

I just finished reading a great post by Ville Kilkku titled: Klout, Triberr, paper.li, and the future of content curation.  It made me realize that people curation should be a lot of what we are really talking about here.  But before I get to that, let me step through what he talks about.

He takes us through a few different models of content curation.  I’m going to need to compare these to my post on Marketing via Aggregation, Filtering and Curation – Tools and Resources to see if this classification changes things.

  • Individual content curator tools – example scoop.it

  • Crowdsourced content curation (Digg and StumbleUpon)

  • Automated or semi-automated content curation (paper.li)

  • Manually curate people, not content (Triberr)

  • Automatically filter people (Klout)

He then talks about three major trends in content curation:

  • From individual content curators to crowdsourced content curation: Individuals cannot keep up with the pace of new content, even though they have better discovery tools than before. Crowdsourcing can, although it is not suitable for promoting radical new ideas: the dictatorship of the masses is unavoidably conservative.
  • From manual to semi-automated content curation: Individual content curators are forced to automate as much of the process as possible in order to stay relevant.
  • From content curation to people curation: When there is too much content, you vet the content creators, manually or automatically. Those who pass get exposure for all of their content.

How do these trends interact? Social networking of the content creator is vitally important in order to create an audience as isolated content becomes increasingly difficult to discover and curation focuses on people instead of individual content. Build it, and they will come, is dead.

I’m not quite sure I agree with how he states his first trend.  Specifically, individuals will continue to manually curate in some cases.  They will have a very particular audience in mind.  They will pick only very high quality resources.  While I agree that the flow of content will overwhelm most individual curation efforts, there will still be lots of opportunity for this kind of action.  Further, if you think about what people do with sharing links on twitter, that’s really a kind of curation effort that’s quite individual.  In some ways, this is supported by the opportunity I discussed in Marketing via Aggregation, Filtering and Curation – Tools and Resources that is shown below:

By targeting correctly you don’t need to solve the overload problem as much as finding the right content for the right people.  But as Ville points out, the challenge of this, especially for automation is how you find the right stuff for the right people.

He lands on people curation.  Identifying the right people will be the most important thing.  To me, it’s much more than that.  Paper.li allows you to identify a list of people.  But that still results in lots of noise.  You need additional filtering and automation to make it relevant.

My belief is that all of this will be more interesting as we better understand social signals especially as they scale.  As part of Aggregage, we already do a lot with people curation as a means of filtering.  But as Ville points out, there’s a lot of possibility here.

4 Responses to “People Curation”

  1. Romain Goday October 24, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    I totally agree with the fact that technology cannot replace the person. The user must be at the center of the curation process because ultimately the value of the information depends entirely on the context. Only a user possesses the ability to place a piece of information within context and no algorithm can come close to recreating that ability.

    As Robert Scoble says (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWrG7elX9io) finding your way through the noise requires identifying patterns. The visualization of patterns can improve the effectiveness of content curation by representing the relationships between the facts and the order in which they emerge, evolve and disappear. Seeing the pattern allows the user to focus the attention to what matters most in the personal context.

    You might article interesting http://www.darwineco.com/blog/bid/70094/6-Traits-of-Highly-Effective-Discovery-Engines

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