Independent Thinking Blog

The Latest Trend in Content Curation

There’s a new trend in content curation.


This should be good news. One, we are people (and it’s useful to be valued). Two, it’s helpful for anyone who thinks that algorithms aren’t the secret sauce to world domination.

For the record, my content is already people-curated. I never tweet, post, or pin content I haven’t read, watched, listened to, or otherwise vetted myself. It’s more work than a lazy retweet, but I figure it’s better for my reputation to be a good content curator. Plus, I learn a lot while digesting all that digital content. And, occasionally, I spot a new trend.

Twitter is going to curate news and events.

More power to people.

Twitter is already the go-to place for breaking news, whether it’s a major sporting event, an earthquake or other weather disaster, a man-made disaster, or “zeitgeist” cultural happenings. Traditionally, people follow a hashtag to follow an event.

The problem, of course, is that not all content is equal. “Top tweets” helps, but it relies on an algorithm that seems to be based on the prominence of the account and/or each tweet-writer’s relationship to you. Twitter’s Project Lightening is trying to solve this problem with people-curated content that lifts up what’s interesting and useful–not necessarily what’s most popular. (Of course, what shows up in that feed will likely become more popular.)

LinkedIn Pulse is getting a people-powered makeover.

I’ve never liked Pulse. I find it clunky and inelegant, and being absorbed into LinkedIn’s clunky and inelegant platform hasn’t helped. As a discovery engine, it’s largely useless too.

This last part may be changing–at least within the Pulse app.

While the algorithms aren’t disappearing altogether, Wired is reporting that LinkedIn is hiring content curators. In addition:

The key difference between Facebook and Pulse’s feeds is pretty crucial—it comes down, ultimately, to those human editors that choose the perfect news stories and LinkedIn posts for you. The company believes curators—real, live human editors—make a difference.

Facebook is still about algorithms. But–

No, Facebook hasn’t had its people-powered moment yet. But the platform’s latest algorithm tweak is set to reward quality content:

The company says it hopes to help more “meaningful” stories bubble up in people’s feeds by looking beyond metrics like comments, likes and shares when judging what’s interesting… “We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them,” [the Facebook engineers] wrote.

This is potentially a very big deal, because it means that it will no longer be enough to just put up click-bait posts and wait for the “likes” to roll in. (And, presumably, it will be harder to fake it too since it won’t be enough to just buy Facebook likes.) To be seen, you’ll have to offer quality content. I love this, because it will reward people (and brands) that are actually putting effort into their social media activities.

More power to people. I can live with that.

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