My post about the 3 pillars of content curation elicited some good comments and debate around where self-curation fits within the model that I set out. My thought had been that it went across everything, but (in addition to this) that there was a passive and an active part of each element. The comments helped articulate this a bit more (thank you) and so, taking those points on board, I put together a crude visual (above) and a little more detail (below) to help explain it. As I noted before, this will increasingly shape the future of content consumption and distribution.
1. Alogrithmic curation :-
Explicit – the bit we are more actively involved in. The words we choose to search against, for example, or the streams we choose to hook an algorithm up to, or the friends we choose to be connected to which provide the basis for an algorithm (like Edgerank) to determine which content is likely to be of most interest to us. In each case we are actively inputing information which enables the algorithm to do its job better.
Implicit – more passively through scrobbling content consumption (like Zite), or recommendation engines based on our puchase history and those of thousands of others (it's interesting that Google has just launched Schemer, an "activity recommendation engine to discover things to do"). It's implicit because we don't actively input data (like a search term) in order to directly serve up relevant content.
2. Professional curation:-
Explicit – the magazines and newspapers we choose to buy, the sites we choose to visit.
Implicit – the articles an editor selects to go into the magazine or newspaper you suscribe to, the music played by the DJ in a radio show we choose to listen to.
3. Social curation:-
Explicit – the people we choose to connect with. The lists or circles we decide to group people into.
Implicit – the content those people choose to share. That which we see because it is surfaced by voting, rating, commenting, use of social analytics
As I said in my previous post, my belief is that the best-in-class here will come from combining more than one, if not all, of the above. I think it's fascinating that curation apps are rapidly becoming far more significant and such a hotly contested area. One day after Flipboard launched their iPhone app (which caused such excitement that it crashed the server), Google launched their Currents app (US only I'm afraid) which combines content from 150 publishing partners with the ability to plug in RSS, video and photo feeds, Google+ streams (and which SAI say is even better than Flipboard)
Flipboard iPhone and Currents join an increasing number of curation driven apps including the aforementioned Zite (which I like), the respectable Editions from AOL (yes, it's actually pretty good), and Yahoo's Pulse and Livestand.
The interesting point to note is that with a few notable exceptions, the real innovation in this space right now seems to be coming from start-ups and GAFA rather than incumbent media owners.