he internet has led to a renaissance of content creation, where everyone is able to produce content and share it with the world. Youtube, Instagram, WordPress, the list of platforms is endless, all tailored towards spreading information. There certainly is no shortage of content creators today, but this avalanche of content has led to three major problems and one clear solution. Let’s take a look at the challenges we are facing first.
1. Finding Quality
Finding quality information is becoming more difficult everyday. The abridged version of Sturgeon’s Law probably says it best:
90% of everything is CRAP – Sturgeon’s Law
The numbers are pretty ridiculous as far as how much content is created daily and that number is only going to continue to go up. Thinking about how massive that 90% is going to become each passing year makes me cringe. Finding quality stuff online will be nearly impossible
2. Filter Bubbles
Filter bubbles are essentially the content that we encounter on a daily basis because we continue using the same resources to consume content: Facebook, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, etc. Our knowledge only goes as far as those places takes us, essentially creating a bubble around what we encounter online.
The challenge becomes overcoming these filter bubbles that are tailoring our digital experiences. More sophisticated platforms like Facebook and Google filter your results using algorithms and data they’ve collected on your behavior. This only makes filter bubbles stronger, despite these companies salesmanship of saying they know what you like and will actually click on.
At the most basic level, the problem is we end up consuming more of the same, and miss out on the new ideas and perspectives that would give us a more complete picture of the world. You can learn even more about Filter Bubbles in this great TED Talk by Eli Pariser below.
3. Finite Time
Finally, deciding where we choose to spend our attention is becoming a question for the ages. Time is like a currency, we only have so much of it to spend during a day and we need to choose wisely. If there’s a way to get what we need in a more usable, efficient manner, and not just based on our behavior then we should embrace it.
The challenges of the information boom are clear, but so is one potential solution: curation.
Curation is the New Creation
Curators are essentially passionate individuals or entities that take the time to find, contextualize, and organize information for others to quickly and easily consume. It essentially solves all three problems above.
Curators have a knack for finding high quality content, have a unique perspective that is sure to add value to your typical news consumption, and give you content in an easier to consume form. Furthermore, technology has enabled the curator movement to make it easier for them to maintain and share their thoughts and beliefs on what is important, valuable content. Platforms such as Flipboard have essentially allowed the masses to curate content from around the web into their own digital magazines in an easy, beautiful format (check out my own magazine here).
While creators will always be important in bringing about ideas, inspiration, and news, it will be the curators that bring those creations to the masses and make sure they are heard.