The Future of Sorting Content

This morning I came across this article on the Fever and the Future of Feed Readers. It’s over a year old, and in a nutshell it states what we all know (feed readers are dying), but it highlights a number of issues that I’ve been thinking about lately. The article’s author is a former employee of Twitter, so I thought some of his insights to the way people think about all that freaking information out there might be interesting. I found this paragraph, which perfectly sums up the way I feel:

The problem with abdicating your content consumption to other people, though, is other people. Perhaps it’s overestimating my ability to find interesting things to read, but I don’t trust my friends and the Internet at large to educate and entertain me. In the venn diagram of my interests and my friends’, there may be 80% overlap, but most of the content that I’m going to find deeply engaging is probably in the leftover 20% at the margins.

There’s the idea of “Content Curators” providing the public with content worth noticing. Ideally this is where twitter shines, as this article illustrates. But do most people really “look at each person, their updates and profiles to see if they’ve got what it takes to join the curation team” ?

In spite of numerous connections on Facebook and Twitter, most of the links I’m exposed to aren’t what I’m interested in. With Twitter, there’s always the nagging feeling that the link someone tweets is a product or sales pitch. That might be a link to their blog, or a link to their friend’s blog. It takes awhile to feel out the people you’re following on twitter to figure out if their content sorting is noteworthy, a mixed bag, or worthless. A motivated twitter user will update their “curation team” regularly, either by unfollowing the spam-like tweets or by following the same people as someone they really respect. I’m still waiting for the next big thing.

  • chuck

    Its really amazing that things have come full circle. In the old days, all content was curated. Newspapers and magazines have editors, we used the TV guide, and listened to what disc jockeys played.
    At the beginning of the Internet revolution, google and yahoo helped us find what we were looking for, and brought back relevant results. Today, the signal to noise ratio is well below 1. People have started to realize that there is a value in the role of curating the content to remove the noise.
    I wonder if that should be an automated role or will it be people like Tosh, Kevin Rose, and Michael Arrington.