The 7 Roadblocks to Content Curation
Content Curation: Avoiding Missed Opportunities
All of us have areas of interest and expertise that we wish to continue developing. We want to know everything that is going on in relation to that topic. More importantly, we want to be sure we are not missing anything important. The need to be aware of what is going on is even more critical for businesses. Relevance is more time sensitive and ends up having an impact on the bottom line. The relationship between information and revenue is not a direct one, but the costs of a missed opportunity or an unanticipated threat can be huge. What differentiates successful professionals is their ability to take action before competitors so as to mitigate a risk or act upon an opportunity.
The 7 Roadblocks to Content Curation
1. Shooting Stars
The widespread adoption of real-time platforms has led to a huge increase of content publication. Identifying strategically important information has become much like spotting a shooting star. It's in and out in the twinkling of an eye. Users desperately want to spot them, and are willing to put in some good effort not to miss them. The problem is that there is no way to know exactly when or where this content will appear. This situation is problematic and has a lot to do with luck. Users have to be at the right place at the right time.
2. Popularity Icebergs
With the rise of social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, the publication and editorial power has shifted to common individuals. Information is available at the exact moment it is produced. Popularity ranking provides better organization to the Web and a culture of reward for content of higher quality. This is very positive. However, the massive utilization of popularity to deliver information is making content curation difficult for users with highly personalized information needs. The information that is not considered popular remains under the sea of information and is very hard to find.
3. Assumption Bubbles
Algorithms are gaining importance to filter Web content and tackle information overload. A large number of information providers already use signals (browsing history, location, and even social networks) to filter the information users receive. This data is employed to generate assumptions about the kinds information users will be most interested in. The approach allows the personalization of content for each individual user. Reliance on such assumptions makes users' past behavior the basis for what they will want next. The resulting bubbles are difficult to escape and limit the discovery of unexpected information.
4. Expert Gatekeepers
Relying on experts is a good way to obtain relevant information with a reduced level of effort. A multitude of platforms provide news targeted to specific industry segments or markets in exchange for a monthly fee. Based on the parameters defined by the professional (industry, geographic location, keywords, etc), these services combine expert content curation and technology to deliver the information. However, those experts can easily become gatekeepers if they are not able to deliver information that is relevant to the dynamic interests and information needs of each user.
5. Circles of Trust
Today’s information consumption is largely dependent on whom users “follow” online: social media connections, news sites (groups of publishers), bloggers, and other information providers. For one reason or another, at some point the user decided to subscribe to the information published by those people. To stay informed, users spend most of their time making sure that they don’t miss anything they say. It is easy to forget that critical information might come from outside those circles of trust.
6. Bingo Cards
The desire to grow personally and achieve self-realization requires obtaining timely relevant information. To build expertise, users are required to know everything that’s going on in relation to a specific topic. It is critical to obtain this information before others to be able to act on it. This makes it difficult to suppress the desire to use all available magnets to attract new information. Users can feel overloaded because they decide to deal with more content than they can curate.
7. Distraction Mazes
Most information consumption platforms generate revenue based on advertising. The longer a user stays in their website, the better for their bottom line. They use a multitude of practices to distract users in their “maze” (related posts, internal linking, link widgets, thumbnails, sliding boxes, catchy headlines, heat maps, etc). Without realizing it, visitors are jumping from post to post. This art of the distraction is an important challenge that users must deal with. Curating any given site for new information can take easily take 2 or 3 times as much as it should. This is good for them, but not for the user.
- Finding timely and relevant information on an ongoing basis about a specific subject is very challenging
- Most information is available on the Web, but focusing on the right information requires users to combine various tools in very creative ways
- Most users are finding it extremely difficult not to be distracted by information that is not relevant to their information needs
- The need to stay aware of new developments will be increasingly important as changes in the World happen at faster pace