After having spent the better part of four years curating content from renowned bloggers, journalists and authors as well as building a platform here on Internet Billboards, which has evolved into a wonderful community of content curator’s, I believe the future of digital, mobile, publishing as well as content marketing is beginning to become crystal clear.
I believe it’s imperative to pay close attention when someone like Bill Gates say’s most people think of technology and how it will change and impact us in the next two years, but really what they need to do is think about how technology will change and impact us in the next five years.
Think about that for a moment. How do you see technology five years from now, in say 2018? What will the most precious commodities in technology be? And how will it all disrupt things, and by doing so have a significant impact on your life?
First let’s give a quick explanation on what content curation is and a quick explanation on crowd sourcing. I know most of you already know the definitions of these two terms, but to be fair, I would like to explain them for the reader who may not be familiar with them yet.
Here is my definition of content curation. A content curator is someone who finds, organizes, presents and shares valuable information (content) in many forms, on a specific topic, in a way that provides special context and or a unique engagement with his or her readers. In actuality when done correctly, over time it positions the curator as an expert in his or her respective field and defines their reputation as a thought leader. A good curator will mix curation with his or her own original content, to give interpretations for the express purpose of allowing others to form their own conclusions.
This is my personal definition of curation, now let’s examine what crowd sourcing is. Here is the Wikipedia definition of crowd sourcing. Crowd sourcing is, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. Often used to subdivide tedious work or to fund-raise startup companies and charities, this process can occur both online and offline. It combines the efforts of crowds of self-identified volunteers or part-time workers, where each one on their own initiative adds a small portion that combines into a greater result. Crowd sourcing is different from an ordinary outsourcing since it is a task or problem that is outsourced to an undefined public rather than to a specific, named group.
Do you happen to see any similarities between content curation and crowd sourcing? I do. And now that we have the definitions, let’s examine the meat and potatoes of this article, and deliver on the “Why Content Curation and Crowd sourcing Will Change Everything”. I will also give you some actionable advice on how to begin curating, and why you should look to curation as well as crowd sourcing to solve personal or business problems and to create opportunities.
First let’s look at a few trends and try to identify which way technology is headed. One way of doing this is to examine some of the recent acquisitions of some of the leading technology companies in the world. I think we can all agree that Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, as well as yes Yahoo, even though some would argue that the latter is no longer a technology force to reckon with, although I disagree. Anyway I digress. Let’s examine some of the plays from their playbook.
First Google is making a play to purchase driving app Waze for 1.3 billion dollars which is a crowd sourcing app. Apple purchased Siri for an undisclosed amount of money back in 2010 which gets smarter the more it is used. Stamped, the very first company that the new CEO of Yahoo Mayer acquired in October, developed a mobile app for finding and recommending activities (crowd sourcing) Also Yahoo purchased The content curation Pinterest-like platform Snip.it Facebook purchased Instagram for over 1 billion and Amazon has cornered the market on convenient online recommendations and shopping.
There are plenty more examples and I am sure if I investigated further I could find additional proof of what the brightest minds in technology are thinking these days. Curation and crowd sourcing!
Why? The logic and the reasoning behind it all is quite simple actually. As the large behemoth tech giants lose small portions of their empire to competing apps, and platforms, they will either try to continue to innovate, or attempt to purchase these companies. Search will decline, and there will be many social apps that people use, not just Facebook. Apple will slowly lose market share, and yes even Amazon will find itself competing against the forces of change.
Now that I have painted the picture of the future, let’s talk about why curation and crowd sourcing will and should become more important to you. After all this is truly what is at stake and what is important. I will give you ten reasons.
1. There is just too much content – Content marketing is the new advertising now. So just imagine how many articles are created daily just on the topic of content marketing alone. Some of the content being produced is just not very good. We are creating content just for the sake of creating content. No one can index that, yes not even Google.
2. Social Sites Are Full Of Spam – I can no longer make heads or tails of my Facebook feed. It’s absurd to think any human being can assimilate this much information. Also having 5000 friends is just not possible. I can barely keep up to speed with my handful of real friends that I do have, let alone 5000 people. It’s obvious people are posting to increase their likes which only intensifies the problem.
3. Privacy concerns with big data – We will become tired of how these companies are using our information to profiteer from knowing our intimate thought’s and desires.
4. Limiting risk and using many minds - We have all heard the expression two heads are better then one. Well a thousand heads are better then that. Collective intelligence and collaboration can and will solve real world problems.
5. Technology must assist us and help us not hinder us. It is not healthy to spend countless hours being sedentary at a computer, why doesn’t someone create an app for that. Technology needs to save us time, not create health problems.
6. People Will recognize the need to build meaningful relationships. It will become more important to know, like and trust who you are doing business with online, and people will demand things are put into proper context and not just share generic information or share useless information.
7. Information will flow freely. Yes most information will flow freely and be given away. We will be identified virtually everywhere we go, and technology will do it’s best to tell us what we need and when we need it.
8. Trust and authority will be the new currency - Yes in the new digital economy trust and authority will be the most sought after and precious commodities. In order to win peoples trust and authority you are going to have to earn it.
9. Curation helps you establish relationships with thought leaders – By simply staying up to date on the topic you are interested in, you will certainly come to the attention of the current thought leaders within your niche. Learning and curating go hand in hand, and will open doors just through dialogue.
10. Crowd Sourcing can make things possible – Simply by diversification and by spreading out the risk, we will drive innovation and be able to come up with not only more good ideas, but we will be able to finance them more easily and also partake in the successes.
I hope you are compelled to leave a comment, I really want to know what you think about the article and as promised I would start your curation efforts where I started mine. Scoop.it. When your ready come and see if you might be able to also join us on Internet Billboards. Right now we are by invitation only but who knows that could change.