"News sources can't just give us the facts. They must tell us what those facts mean."
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"News sources can't just give us the facts. They must tell us what those facts mean."
Robin Good's insight:
Here's a refreshing look at the future of news that highlights the importance of going deeper into creating value for readers by providing more focus, relevance, context and opinion.
"News organizations are coy about admitting that what they present us with each day are minuscule extracts of narratives whose true shape and logic can generally only emerge from a perspective of months or even years — and that it would hence often be wiser to hear the story in chapters rather than snatched sentences.
They [news organizations] are institutionally committed to implying that it is inevitably better to have a shaky and partial grasp of a subject this minute than to wait for a more secure and comprehensive understanding somewhere down the line.
We need news organizations to help our curiosity by signaling how their stories fit into the larger themes on which a sincere capacity for interest depends.
To grow interested in any piece of information, we need somewhere to "put" it, which means some way of connecting it to an issue we already know how to care about.
A section of the human brain might be pictured as a library in which information is shelved under certain fundamental categories. Most of what we hear about day to day easily signals where in the stacks it should go and gets immediately and unconsciously filed.
... the stranger or the smaller stories become, the harder the shelving process grows. What we colloquially call "feeling bored" is just the mind, acting out of a self-preserving reflex, ejecting information it has despaired of knowing where to place.
...We might need help in transporting such orphaned pieces of information to the stacks that would most appropriately reveal their logic.
...it is news organizations to take on some of this librarian's work. It is for them to give us a sense of the larger headings under which minor incidents belong."
The call for understanding how much greater value can be provided by curating news and information in depth, rather than by following the shallow, buzzy and viral path beaten by HuffPo, Buzzfeed and the rest of the gang, is clear.
But beyond context and depth, real value can only be added if we accept the fact that going beyond the classic "objective fact reporting", by adding opinion and bias in a transparent fashion, can actually provide greater value in many ways, as Alain de Botton clearly explains:
"Unfortunately for our levels of engagement, there is a prejudice at large within many news organizations that the most prestigious aspect of journalism is the dispassionate and neutral presentation of "facts."
The problem with facts is that there is nowadays no shortage of sound examples. The issue is not that we need more of them, but that we don't know what to do with the ones we have...
...But what do these things actually mean? How are they related to the central questions of political life? What can they help us to understand?
...The opposite of facts is bias. In serious journalistic quarters, bias has a very bad name. It is synonymous with malevolent agendas, lies, and authoritarian attempts to deny audiences the freedom to make up their own minds.
Yet we should perhaps be more generous toward bias.
In its pure form, a bias simply indicates a method of evaluating events that is guided by a coherent underlying thesis about human functioning and flourishing.
It is a pair of lenses that slide over reality and aim to bring it more clearly into focus.
Bias strives to explain what events mean and introduces a scale of values by which to judge ideas and events. It seems excessive to try to escape from bias per se; the task is rather to find ways to alight on its more reliable and fruitful examples.
There are countless worthy lenses to slide between ourselves and the world."
Overall, these ideas offer a truly refreshing look at the future of news and at the relevance that context and opinion could play in transforming this medium from a vehicle of mass distraction to one of focused learning and understanding for those interested.
Must read. Rightful. Insightful. 9/10
Reading time: 10':20"
Robin Good: The semantic web is all about integrating, capturing and exposing data relationships already existing within the information we generate.
From isolated, separate individual information items and streams, the semantic web will take me and you to a new information ecosystem in which the relationships, the connections and the ability to look at data from multiple perspectives are going to be the the main benefit and attraction.
Curation is part of this "semantic" process, giving individuals an important role in filtering, organizing, and making sense of the context and relationships existing between apparently unrelated isolated items.
We are all working to make better sense of the ocean of information that surrounds us.
Grace Nasri brings to light a few examples of internet companies, who have already begun "mapping and graphing the way their customers use, interact with and understand data."
-> Google Knowledge Graph
-> Facebook Social Graph
"As we move towards Web 3.0 and the Semantic Web -- characterized by related, contextualized and personalized data -- there's a growing push for more robust context and relationship mapping."
".... a growing number of sites currently creating graphs that relate, connect and map information on the Web; as we move towards a more semantic web, this trend will only continue."
Insightful. Resourceful. 7/10
(Image courtesy: techmites.blogspot.com)
I thought this was good article, great observations and a real grasp on curation and how to do it effectively. I'm going to refrain from reposting all the gems in this post and instead give a commentary on something she said which I thought was a bit shortsighted.
Here's what caught my attention:
"I believe that the people best poised to be curators of the Internet are those from the Facebook Generation -- the first generation of native web citizens, mainly people in their 20s or early 30s who have grown up with the web and can navigate, scour, synthesize and then publish the best of what's out there on a daily basis because they practically live online. It is our generation that will also be able to more easily understand where new opportunities lie because they can quickly pinpoint where the gaps are in content, services, and products."
She is right that people in their 20's or 30's are indeed well equipped to curate the web especially for their own age group as well as others for all the reasons she states.
Having said that, there are people of all ages who have been on the web for years, myself included, who have built relationships and have the ability to spot trends, gaps and potential opportunities. I seriously doubt that people in that age group know what people in their 40's, 50's & 60's might need in a trusted source or have access or the ability to ferret out every potential opportunity on the web. I would be careful about making global statements like that.
**What if people of all ages contributed to a topic together, can you imagine the collective intelligence that could come from that?
What will set a good curator apart from a person who just aggregates links is the context they can add. Their perspective will have been gained through the humility and wisdom of life experience and can add great richness to the original content. To be sure, I have met many wonderful GenYers who have these traits in abundance, but this is one area where a few extra years and a few extra miles can help.
Content is the new currency of the web, it is meant to be a door opener, to invite others into the conversation, building thought leadership and authority. The more people that contribute by giving comments or adding another level of context, not only does it add to our knowledge but it can build community.
I think there is an enormous opportunity for anyone who has the passion, knowledge expertise and committment to select the very best content, fact check for accuracy and is willing to put in the time to learn how to curate succesfully.
Commentary by Jan Gordon covering "Content Curation, Social Media & Beyond"
Read full article here: [http://huff.to/v7bGHt]
Robin Good's insight:
Visualizing context is likely one of the new key challenges for journalists, reporters and news curators alike. Showing both the macro and micro level of an information space, making it easy to see both the forest and the trees is not an easy task.
Mattermap is a new tool that allows journalists to tell a story visually without having to be straight-jacketed into a linear, top-down news column as we always see.
To show different viewpoints, references and alternative sources for a news story, a mindmap style approach can provide an excellent communication approach.
"For more than two years, Ter Doest and Van Rijkswijk worked on a visual infographic that would facilitate the gathering of background information and particular viewpoints about chosen topics. The goal was to make information gathering and consumption easier.
The Dutch Stimuleringfonds voor de Pers granted the two a subsidy as they felt Mattermap could help the reader – who often doesn’t follow debates about certain topics from the beginning – be able to grasp topics more easily and more rapidly. Readers would be encouraged to form an own opinion.
The result is a bright, straightforward journalistic mindmap. The Mattermap creator puts the central issue in a big circle surrounded by boxes with different ideas or perspectives about that issue. Big black lines lead to clouds with quotes, videos and research results that support or illustrate the specific viewpoints.
In a glimpse, one can see various perspectives on a topic. In a Mattermap about the new Dutch King Willem-Alexander, for example: who likes him, who does not and why. In another Mattermap, relevant arguments on whether the Arab Spring has been fruitful or a flop, are clustered.
Interestingly, in every cloud, one can add hyperlinks and relevant information about the person referred to, therefore providing context."
Free to use. (available only in Dutch)
Intro video (in Dutch): http://youtu.be/e5wHYH4NNRg
More info: https://www.mattermap.nl/
This article is full of wonderful tips for taking your curation to the next level and embellish your original content.
"Content curation rewards are not limited to branding and SEO; it can also enhance the visibility and the quality of your own content."
There are many things that caught my attention, here are just a few gems:
Curated Content Can Inspire Topics For Created Content
If you don't master this one, all the other tips won't make any sense
****Understand which topics are irresistible to your target audience
I love this one!
Here's the tip
****Instead of taking the easy route of sharing the topic with your audience, write a blog post to "build on" it.
You can build on a topic in different ways:
**Beg to differ politely
**Provide additional tips and insights
**Ask clarifying question(s)
This is a great way to add "context" it can start conversations, which invites others to add their comments, bring new observations and more information about a particular topic.
**A perfect segue to building relationships, community, doing business and increasing knowledge.
Curated by Jan Gordon covering "Content Curation, Social Media & Beyond"
Read full article here: [http://bit.ly/sJs2I8]
Margot Bloomstein, a content strategist talks about how to combine curation to your content strategy by showcasing lessons she has adopted from museum curators and so much more.
What caught my attention:
**She talks about copywriting issues. Because a curator goes way beyond aggregating which is just gathering content, they arrange it in order of relevance, point out what you should pay attention to and many other important things. It takes a lot of thought to assemble pieces in a cohesive manner, add context to it, ad take it to the next level.
**It is appropiate to give the curator credit if you're going to repost or use it in any manner.