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Robin Good's insight:
It is only a matter of time before trusted aggregators and human curators will become the main sources of reliable information for most people.
In fact, the January release of the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that for the first time ever, the informed public trusts more search engines - aka Google - than traditional news and media outlets.
Even more interesting is the fact that "Seventy-two percent trust information posted by friends and family on social media, blogs and other digital sites, while 70 percent trust content posted by academic experts." as it highlights the fact that Google and search engines may be only an intermediary step in the journey toward a news ecosystem that will see trusted human editors, experts and curators for individual subjects who aggregate and curate content from multiple sources as the key reference points for news.
This is must-read data for anyone interested in seeing where the future of news and search are headed.
Enlightening data. 9/10
Robin Good: This is a one-hour recording of a webinar, where Jane Hart interviews David Kelly on curation.
I am reporting about it, because Jane's has lot of visibility and a good reputation, but while there is a lot of good, basic, introductory information about curation in this interview, some of the critical information contained in it, is at best incorrect if not altogether misleading to those seeking to understand the actual differences between the different curation tools presented.
The "expert" guest is David Kelly, a workplace learning enthusiast writing his own blog and sharing interesting info on his Twitter channel. His specialty, is actually collecting and sharing relevant links emerging in the backchannels of key conferences.
While he does a good job of introducing what is curation (tapping fully into Rohit Barghava model but never acknowledging/ or referencing it), the different types of approaches that can be used, and dismantling the myth of "personal curation", he insists on a few of points that, in my humble view, are in need of review.
1) Know your data sources (not just one though).
Mr Kelly insists that one of the top skills a curator needs to have, is the ability to manage and skillfully use your key data source (in his case Twitter). True. But in reality, any good curator needs to be able to tap and be able to find and retrieve relevant information coming from anywhere. Limiting your source to Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook may actually be very limiting if your goal is to not to curate a "technology platform output", but what people are saying on a specific topic, no matter where they say it.
b) Everybody can be a curator. By clicking the "Share" button on Facebook makes anyone a curator as much as saving a file in Photoshop makes you a digital artist. No specific competence needed. As long as the stuff is cool and interesting.
c) Tools. Mr Kelly claims that while Storify, helps you to manually curate stories by picking and selecting individual pieces of information coming from different sources, tools such as Paper.li and Scoop.it do not provide such ability, as they automatically generate a news-magazine based on criteria you have provided.
While this is mostly true for Paper.li, it is definitely not true for Scoop.it, a tool that has no automatic publishing feature (like paper.li does) and which requires manual intervention from the user to select, edit and post whichever content items are most relevant to their audience needs.
Yes, I am an avid Scoop.it user, I am not posting this to defend this platform or to try to make it look better. Storify is a great curation tool indeed, but it has no better research, filtering or aggregation or content curation support than Scoop.it does. Scoop.it technology requires as much human intervention to curate content than Storify does.
May be more. Not less.
For one, and to meet Mr Kelly on his own grounds, Scoop.it provides a lot more opportunities to source and gather valuable content in its backend than Storify does, providing a richer set of filters and pre-set persistent search engines hooks than Storify does.
Therefore Mr Kelly recommendation of Storify, not only is founded on incorrect information, but it shows that Mr Kelly has clearly never used (beyond using it for news discovery) at least one of the tools he is using to make his evaluations, making his recommendations unreliable (this is how much he has used Scoop.it before evaluating it: http://i.imgur.com/AoaOU.jpg)
N.B.: I watched this whole video, from beginning to end, twice, to make sure I had not missed anything important.
For Jane: I would love you to exercise more pro-active curation of your interviewees, as asking questions to someone who may be passionate, but who has a limited experience in a specific area, can instantaneously dent into YOUR credibility and trust by those who know and appreciate you most, even when, most of the information being shared is of value.
I would question how someone who transparently admits not to include any opinion in his curation work can be considered a curator to whom to go and ask for advice.
Maybe I would frame this differently, as for example having an open conversation with someone starting to explore this field (given the amount of time he has spent and researched this area by his own admission), and everything said in here could become suddenly fully acceptable. But if you serve this as an "expert" voice to listen to, I have all the right to ask proof for this "experience".
I may be a demanding perfections but I think that interviews must maintain a level of critical judgement whereby the answer you receive are not just opportunities to compliment your guests, but also vital spots to ask difficult questions, demand examples and some kind of proof of what is being claimed.
For David: I actually think you did a great job, as you introduced and well explained some of the basic concepts of curation clearly.
Tools and their use is an area where there is a lot more to explore and I look forward to a more precise re-evaluation of the tools you have selected.
I really have nothing against you, but I feel it is my role to use this space also to be constructively critical of anything that I see could be improved. I probably make more mistakes than you do, and you are welcome anytime to highlight them.
P.S.: For readers: The overall length of the webinar is one-hour but there are only a few slides to see. You are not going to miss much if you just listen to it.
Some good things tainted by some incorrect information. Opportunity to reflect on those curating curators. (A little bug can rot a great apple.)
Robin Good's insight:
Valuable insight for those interested in seeing how news curation and editor's choice approaches in journalism can benefit both the publisher and its audience a lot more than simply picking and aggregating interesting stories from other sites.
One key relevant difference between aggregating news stories from other sources and editorially curated content is the role of the curator, a tangible person with specific value and ethics who readers come to respect, identify with and ultimately trust for his / her choices in what they should be paying attention to.
"Editors could become curators, cultivating the best work from both inside and outside the newsroom.
Curation and trust may indeed form the basis of a new symbiotic relationship between information seekers and subject-matter expert curators that will gradually displace the value of traditional algorithmic search.
The paper includes valuable links to examples of curated newsletters and other news publications.
by Darrel West and Beth Stone
Robin Good: Back in 2010, Mahendra Palsule, wrote an interesting article on the "role of curation in the attention economy".
In it he wrote: "When you share something on any network, you are telling your social circle – “Look at this, this is something I think you will find interesting.”
In essence, you are asking for attention from your followers. Your followers distribute whatever attention currency they have budgeted for you among the things you share.
The attention each item receives depends on the total number of items you share. If you overdo it, you are reducing the value of each shared item...
What the formula doesn’t take into account is that by blindly and indiscriminately increasing one’s ‘give and take’ in social media, one is decreasing the relevance of one’s shares to one’s followers.
By ‘giving back’ to certain people, you’re at the same time ‘taking away’ from your other followers.
When the relevancy of your shares decrease, your reputation and trust declines."
Unless you are a ruthless relevance evaluator of whatever passes in front of your eyes, with an investigator attitude in researching and looking beyond the surface of each news story, the idea of gaining reputation, authority and visibility through curation may be only a trendy illusion.
"Social media tools might indicate you have a large number of followers, your ‘influence’ is ranked highly in terms of numbers, and you become popular as a friendly person. But your followers may not be clicking on the links you tweet or buying the products or services you recommend."
So, rule number one is to have focus and to share only what is truly and verified to be relevant for your audience.
"Curation is such a buzzword these days, that some have gone so far as to dub every act of social media sharing as ‘curation’ – from Foursquare check-ins to Blippy purchases, to Yelp reviews. I consider some of these examples as annotations or adding meta data to a crowdsourced database.
Considering each act of social media sharing as an act of curation is like considering all sex to be an act of love.
The one way I’ve seen true reputation and influence increase on the social web is when one’s shares are relevant to followers.
This necessitates a brutal and ruthless evaluation.
Is this content relevant to my followers? Irrespective of which influencer wrote it, irrespective of which ‘guru’ endorsed it, the relevance question is of prime consideration in deciding whether I endorse, share and propagate it to my followers."
(Image credit: www.spreadshirt.it)