NEW YORK -- It's appropriate that almost six months after Business Insider declared that "curation is king," I find myself at the IGNITION conference discussing the future of social curation. The question facing curators is editorial: Who do you want telling you what to read? Friends, algorithms, or flesh and blood editors?
I listened to John Borthwick of startup incubator Betaworks, Garrett Camp of discovery engine StumbleUpon, Patrick Keane of Associated Content, and Mark Josephson of the hyperlocal Outside.in discuss the merits of algorithmic and crowdsourced modes of navigating the news. They're all like me: they primarily discover content through a carefully curated Twitter feed, an RSS reader, or some other social news service.
So which is better? It's usually a mix of the three. "Technology, math and algorithms are being used to refine and understand how people filter what they are looking at and how they read," Borthwick said. "But mainly people read the voice of other people. There are new tools for getting there, so content production is being pushed into the pale, but most of these tools when they are used well are used to surface and filter, not compose."
"In social media, everyone should be a content creator and curator," Camp added. "StumbleUpon is trying to blend both worlds by asking for human input on thumbing stories up and down."