Goal Oriented Curation: The Next Big Thing In Social Media

Elad Gil has an excellent post which maps out the evolution of social media from long-form (blogging) to push-button (short form tweeting, retweeting and news feeds) through to structured curation (interest sets or boards).

As you may know I’ve been a big fan if curation for a number of years (see the 2009 Seggr Report) and the rise of curation sites such as Pinterest, Snip.It and Fab.com are validation that this is a growing area.

I particularly agree with David King’s point (as highlighted by Elad) that structured curation is not only creating a major point of differentiation for Pinterest et al, but is also blocking the big short formers like Facebook from swallowing their curations.

Elad titles his post How Pinterest Will Transform the Web in 2012: Social Content Curation As The Next Big Thing and he may well be right. But I’d like to posit that the really, really interesting area is one step beyond social curation. Social media for social’s sake is fast becoming passé. Social media needs to find a purpose and do so fast. So here is my prediction: goal-oriented curation is the killer app for social media.

In some respects Pinterest is a precursor to goal-oriented curation, but I’d argue that is does not go far enough. Just over the horizon sites like StyleSays are pointing the way.

StyleSays sees itself as “Pinterest for fashion and beauty products”. A user gets to save items into wish lists from any online store and then share those with friends who they trust and ultimately influence, in much the same way they would do when out shopping together in the bricks and mortar retail environment.

But let’s go one step further. I believe a really interesting application of goal-oriented curation awaits within the health and wellness arena. I can see how a well crafted site could both curate and influence positive behavioural change. A “Pinterest for health and wellness” may just be the next big thing!



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Feed Your Social Media: Facebook Grows On Attention

I have been a huge advocate of feeds – they are an incredible attention grabber, able to keep users engaged and as a result drive up traffic on social media sites.

Take the Twitter phenomenon – and apply it to the real world analogy of being in a coffee shop having a conversation or penning an email when you overhear something – just the sound of a keyword or two can grab your attention away from your current activity.

Facebook cottoned onto this recently and as Eric Eldon over at VentureBeat points out, this has been hugely to their advantage.

It’s Not Next, Its The Now Web

The Deal tells us that the web trend towards immediacy is accelerating:

Twitter, Friendfeed, Discuss, Seesmic — real time social media.

[via Loic Le Meur on Friendfeed]


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Social Media Interaction Via Brandstreaming

Richard MacManus has a great introductory piece to the concept of brandstreaming over on ReadWriteWeb.

As defined by Pheedo, brandstreaming refers to the consistent flow of content created by a brand.

I believe that taken as a concerted effort and part of a portfolio of word of mouth engagement, brandstreaming is both a very useful identifier of brand influencers and propagator of conversations. It’s not a platform in itself, but a key piece of the overall social media brand puzzle.

[Picture courtesy of brentjholmes]


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4chan: the counterculture netmeme

If you’re not already dialled in, the Guardian has a great article about Chris Poole’s influential message board – 4chan.

David Smith describes the site, which gets 8.5 million page views a day, as an ideas laboratory, capable of unleashing a ferocious creative force. It’s key value proposition is in pointing to what constitutes the current netmeme or zeitgeist of the moment:

Though most of what appears soon vanishes and is forgotten, the stuff that survives can easily jump to the wider web community and ‘go viral’, passing from person to person across the world.


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Info Feeds And Filters: Bumping Up The Noise

Following on from my post about Silicon Valley being like living in your RSS reader, in which I argued that the noise can become deafening without the right filters, Marshall Kirkpatrick has countered with a great post on Why Online Noise Is Good For You.

He points to FriendFeed‘s recent addition of a “best of” filter, which allows a user to view only the items their friends find most popular. He also raises some excellent reasoning why noise is good. The term that resonates most with me is serendipity, or as Sanda Erdelez terms it “bumping into information”.

I am glad Marshall has raised the argument that noise is good. I totally agree with him. I could not operate without a high level of noise as it allows me to put my pattern recognition skills to work and create my own flow charts and trend analysis.

My filtering does not take the form of an online service backed up by a smart algorithm or two. Instead I like to immerse myself in the information flow, swimming with it and bumping up relevant noise for a closer look.

[Picture courtesy of maxf]