"Create curated social media slideshows in seconds with Brickflow."
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"Create curated social media slideshows in seconds with Brickflow."
Robin Good's insight:
Brickflow is a web app which allows you to easly collect content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube and to package it up in a visual tile grid that can be viewed as a slideshow and which can be easily published, shared and embedded on the web.
With Brickflow you can build a visua story either by collecting stories and resources using hashtags or by searching with the integrated facility across all the above listed social media and then dragging and dropping your selected items into your visual grid.
Brickflow works in a similar way as Storify, providing though a different visual publishing metaphor for its final output.
The final bundle looks like a visual grid of tiles, that can also be played as a presentation (also in full screen).
From the official website: "Brickflow is an app for making curated social media slideshows in seconds. Build memorable stories and collections with content from Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and more. It’s just like playing with Legos. The result, a visual summary of a topic, can be embedded into any website or blog"
Here is one good example: http://brickflow.com/landing/project/51d356739f252#/51d356739f252
More inspiring examples: http://blog.brickflow.com/
My comment: Very useful to curate visual summaries of breaking news stories, events or to summarize key resources to explore on a specific topic. Easy to use. Provides opportunity to remix existing "flows" into new ones.
Free to use.
Find out more: http://brickflow.com
Guillame DeCugis: "This is a very interesting piece by Erin Griffith (again!) on the potential scalability issues of content curation. You can pass quickly on her first part where she easily bashes the usual concerns about the curation word being overhyped and over used.
She makes a really good point on her second part, building on the experience of Behance, the platform to publish one's creative work: using a mix of algorithms and human curation is a part of the answer to this scale issue.
But another way to scale curation is to add a topic-centric layer. In the problem she describes (which is typically Behance's problem), scaling up is tough because curation is being applied to sort out the best content on a unique dimension: a home page that's the same for everyone.
"Behance’s front page could no longer display what algorithms determined was the most popular art within [the] site’s community. Because of boobs. They are universally the most popular thing on the Web, and not even a tasteful, creative site like Behance is safe when the “wisdom of the crowd” is involved.
To be clear — boobs are welcome on Behance, but the site skews toward commercially viable work. A porn pit may entice creative directors but not in the way Behance wants to entice them." she funnily writes.
If you added topics to that, you can solve the problem by having people follow whichever topics they want.
And I'm not talking about the usual 10-20 categories you find on any content sites. I'm talking about long-tail, user-created topics that any user can opt in to follow or unfollow. Boobs fans can then follow dozens of Boobs topics curated by other fellow users without having to pollute the experience for everyone else.
By mixing a topic-centric model with curation, you apply it to as many dimensions as your users will decide to curate. That's the model we've been using at Scoop.it and so far, it scales pretty well, doesn't it?"
Robin Good: For the record you may want to check this video of Gabe Rivera from Techmeme at LeWeb 2008 already discussing this issue and arriving at the same conclusions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Zi_U6iZxU there's no way to build a perfect news or aggregation engine. The best solution is indeed a mix of aggregation and filtering tools matched by a topic-expert curator.
Via Guillaume Decugis, Heiko Idensen
Robin Good: What are the downsides to riding the curation wave by auto-aggregating and filtering the most relevant content on a specific topic on your company portal?
Mark Schafer at Business2Community has some good points to make on this. He writes: "I recently attended a conference where a major financial institution proudly displayed its new automated content curation system.
Basically, their answer to the content marketing dilemma every company is facing is to use an outside company to skim off the best financial-services content around the web and present it on their site as a value-added customer service.
On the surface, this seems like a very elegant solution. I mean, why spend the time and money to create original content when you can curate unlimited content from the web and present it as your own customer portal? An intoxicating idea."
And the answer to it is a good set of questions to ask yourself before embarking your organization on this content strategy path, such as (in my own words):
1. If the news you curate are automated how trustable are you?
2. Can you really address a specific problem if you automate curation?
3. Can you talk the language of your listening tribe if you automate?
4. Can you personalize it more?
5. Where are you adding value?
Rightful. Relevant. 7/10
Robin Good: Google may soon release a new online shopping experience interface, which has been designed to make it easier for the prospective buyer to find what he is looking for eve when there are tens of similar or equivalent products.
From the original article: "Today, we discovered that Google has one keyword live that exhibits the complete new user experience for Google Shopping, powered by Product Listing Ads (PLA)."
"This is very interesting.
Instead of the usual presentation where you immediately see products, we are given a complete integrated buyer's guide for tents.
Step one of that buyer's guide is picking the type of tent - camping, backpacking, beach, canopy, mountaineering or ice-fishing (who knew?!).
When the user clicks on one of these 'types' of tents they are taken to step two of the experience..."
Also of interest the fact that Google doesn't just aggregate available data, but it also provides user-definable controls and filters to help the prospective buyer find more easily what he wants through a type of "guided-shopping" approach.
Very interesting. Illustrated. 8/10
Robin Good: Here's a great visualization of how different can be the traits of content re-use. In the left column you can see what would appear to be the ideal traits of a professional curator, while on the right you can immediately recognize the ones of scrapers, republishers, cheap aggregators and other "thin" publishers as Google would call them.
I think it can serve as an excellent reference, when in doubt about whether you are still doing the right thing or not, when it comes to re-using and republishing other people content.
The table is part of an excellent presentation entitled "Link Building by Imitation" and authored by link building expert Ross Hudgens.
This is an excerpt from a Mike Shatzkin article published in 2009 and entitled: "Aggregation and curation: two concepts that explain a lot about digital change."
If you are into curation, aggregation or into understanding why traditional publishers, record labels and newspapers are struggling so much in this digital era to keep their traditional services and products sustainable, you will likely find some eye-opening answers and explanation in here.
Here the key takeaways I have found inside it:
"Aggregation is one of the core concepts of content presentation and commercialization.
Any analysis of what happened to the record business, what is happening to newspapers, or the future of books and bookstores and magazines and TV that does not feature this concept prominently is almost certainly flawed.
Aggregation, of course, simply means pulling together things which are not necessarily connected.
Curation is a term that has always referred to the careful selection and pruning of aggregates, such as for a museum or an art exhibition.
But the concept in the digital content world means the selection and presentation of these disparate items to help a browser or consumer navigate and select from them.
Aggregation without curation is, normally, not very helful."
The music album, the CD, the newspaper.
"...one thing has been common to all of them and to all other newspapers: they cover the waterfront. (I have called that being “horizontal.”) They aggregate news of the world, the nation, and the city with sports, weather, stock quotes, advice to the lovelorn, and many other things.
They sell almost all their advertising against the aggregate and against the brand, not against any specific item or interest being aggregated.
And the competition for each paper is against other curated aggregates.
Newspapers sold the curated aggregate to people who didn’t want most of it because the total price was a good deal for the parts they did want, just like the album was a good deal even if you only liked some of the songs. And now they are suffering precisely the same fate as the record album.
The unit of appreciation is smaller than the [aggregated] whole.
So the long story short on newspapers is this: a business model of selling a horizontal (many-subject) aggregate, curated by something other than subject, was based on the economics of a physical world where aggregation produced efficiencies of production and distribution.
The Internet changed that.
It is no longer necessary for an aggregator to provide news to deliver me sports, or to provide a whole newspaper to deliver me the weather or a stock quote.
The importance of curation becomes more prominent.
...the more horizontal is the collection, the less likely it is to work in the digital world."
Must read. 9/10
(Unearthed by Peter Hoeve - Curated by Robin Good)
This post was written by Tony Karrer from Aggregage
He has some interesting things to say about an article he read by Ville Kilkku, which was all about the future of content curation, the title of the piece he's referring to in this post is "Klout, Triberr, paper.li, and the future of content curation".
He then talks about three major trends in content curation:
From individual content curators to crowdsourced content curation: Individuals cannot keep up with the pace of new content, even though they have better discovery tools than before. Crowdsourcing can, although it is not suitable for promoting radical new ideas: the dictatorship of the masses is unavoidably conservative.
From manual to semi-automated content curation: Individual content curators are forced to automate as much of the process as possible in order to stay relevant. From content curation to people curation: When there is too much content, you vet the content creators, manually or automatically. Those who pass get exposure for all of their content.
What caught my attention:
How do these trends interact? Social networking of the content creator is vitally important in order to create an audience as isolated content becomes increasingly difficult to discover and curation focuses on people instead of individual content. Build it, and they will come, is dead.
Robin Good's insight:
Matt Cutts is head of Google's Webspam team and frequently writes and publishes video clips that help web publishers better understand how to avoid getting penalized and how to provide the best value to their readers and to Google needs.
In this clip Matt answer the following question: "Many sites have a press release section, or a news section that re-posts relevant articles. Since it's all duplicate content, they be better off removing these sections (even with plenty of other unique content)?" (from Gus, MA)
If you are interested in finding out what Matt Cutts thinks about content curation versus light re-sharing and republishing of other people's content here is a good video to watch.
Good advice. Bottom line is "don't play smart, create value". 8/10
Original video: http://youtu.be/o7sfUDr3w8I
(Thanks to Pawan Deshpande and B2C for their good pointer)
Robin Good: Paper.li one of the early players in the news aggregation, discovery and auto-curation space has been significantly improving its service which now offers also a $9/month Pro version.
Paper.li allows you to set a number of search queries on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and to import specific RSS feeds to "aggregate" the most relevant on a certain topic or theme.
You as a curator can "preview" your yet-to-be-published news magazine and can manually pick and decide which "stories" to publish and which ones to drop by simply hovering your mouse on anyone of them.
"Editions" can be auto-scheduled and Paper.li can automatically announce on Twitter and via email to your subscribers when a new one is out.
PRO users get to have the last word before any edition gets published, by way of a "preview before promotion" feature that lets you control when notifications go out and gives you time to make changes, can add promotional banners, standard ads or other marketing materials in a set of predefined hot spots on their news page, and can "brand" their magazine with their own banner, background image and personalized colors.
More info: https://paper.li/learn-more.html
Try it out now: https://paper.li/
Robin Good: Many content curation tools promise to make your content publishing job easier, faster and better. But is it really so? Does less work and more automated aggregation/filtering guarantee a higher quality result?
Christa Carone writes on Fast Company: "New content curation tools make automating the job easier--but easy may not always be as effective.
It would be a mistake to let algorithms do the entire job for you. No one knows your audience like you do.
And, keeping the human touch in the process is more real, which is really important to today's info-overloaded consumer."
Yes, the human touch. Not the human click to rapidly share, repost or reblog. The human touch as in the act of adding value in ways that go beyond being someone who passes on interesting items.
And to achieve that, someone needs to manually stop, research, read, check and contribute something of value. it doesn't happen automatically.
"The companies that are truly winning over audiences and driving consumers are the ones that are experimenting with a balance of automated aggregation and human-directed curation.
It's a process of out-sourcing and in-sourcing.
I've been following Intel's approach. It recently launched iQ, an employee-curated digital magazine created to connect with a younger audience and share with them the bigger, living brand story.
Not only does the site provide original stories about tech, it also aggregates top tech stories from other sites that Intel's audience will find interesting... all closely watched by editor-in-chief Bryan Rhoades, who spurs conversations by judiciously placing some stories on the iQ homepage.
They pull it off by using a search algorithm and human editors who understand narrative---and appropriate content."
Robin Good: Good article by Rex Hammock on RexBlog.com highlighting the confusion arising from using the term curation when it is not really appropriate.
He writes: "Somewhere along the way, the inherently-confusing metaphor of curation being applied to content on the web went from something like, finding relevant content and pointing readers to it to something like, find content on other sites and simply re-write what they say and place it on our site and that’s okay, as long as somewhere you credit the source.”
He has several more interesting points. here a few key excerpts from it: "While I believe “curation media” can be a helpful service to readers, the act of writing a story that rehashes another story — without adding some insight or background — is a disservice to all involved.
"...I’m not suggesting that the act of sharing articles you run across is anything but good. I’m not even suggesting that websites like Huffington Post or Business Insider are nothing more than re-writing services. (I’m not “suggesting” it, as it’s well known.)
This is the bottom line: To be of any value (or to prevent you from appearing foolish), your curation needs to be more than merely re-writing something that has already been re-written one or two times.
If you feel the need to do that, just link."
Full article: http://www.rexblog.com/2012/06/14/47898
Robin Good: Similar to Paper.li, NewsMix.me allows anyone to easily create one or more news channels which automatically aggregate news and posts by your selected sources on Twitter (including "lists"), and Facebook.
P.S.: Unfortunately, rarely a Twitter stream or FB page is ever posting constantly on the same topic, making the aggregated result not as useful as it could be by allowing any source to be filtered for specific keywords.
Try it out: http://newsmix.me/
Lingspot is an enterprise level content curation platform capable of automatic content aggregation, filtering and in-depth content editing.
The Lingspot platform is made up by two key components:
The Editor, which makes it easy even for the non-technical publisher to turn the curated content streams into complete self-updating pages. More info: http://corp.lingospot.com/products/algorithmicpublishing/editor/
a) Through a variety of third party relationships, Lingospot can aggregate topic-targeted multimedia, including photos and videos from professional sources (such as the Associated Press, Bloomberg, NBC, CBS, Forbes, etc.), as well as user generated photos and video, such as from Flickr and YouTube.
b) Whether it's books on Amazon or auction items on eBay, Lingospot can aggregate product information related to a specific topic. This topic-specific merchandise can be purchased by your readers with only a few clicks.
c) Lingospot allows your readers to initiate a conversation about a specific topic on the page where you are aggregating content about the topic. This turns every Topic page created by Lingospot into a micro community, where readers can connect with other readers interested in that topic.
Key features and tech specifications: http://corp.lingospot.com/products/algorithmicpublishing/specs/
Case studies and examples and examples of companies using Lingospot: http://corp.lingospot.com/customers/casestudies/
Pricing: a basic account starts at $500/month.
See more info here: http://corp.lingospot.com/products/algorithmicpublishing/pricing/
Find out more: http://corp.lingospot.com/products/algorithmicpublishing/
(Reviewed by Robin Good)