Stowe Boyd takes a look at the story of Twitter hiring a team of real-time human curators to organize its key trending topics and why having humans making such choices is such an important element, not just for Twitter, but for any search engine or company truly interested in what social conversations are really saying.
He writes on GigaOM: "...this sort of human curation will be increasingly important in the business context.
For example, if a competitor’s product XJ11 is being mentioned all over the social network within your company, understanding why may be critical. Perhaps they have just announced a big sale, or are selling the product line off. But the new spike in activity is likely to be related to very recent events, and not the long tail of older piece of information about that product. And the most likely candidates to help make sense of the new trend? The people originating the cascading comments in the social communications tools.
[The] Twitter approach [with a team of real-time human curators] is one way to go, although instead of using Mechanical Turk a system that asks the originators of these trends for clarification, it might just message the earliest trend setters to ask them what’s up. Alternatively, an approach like Tumblr’s editorial teams might be employed, where individuals are selected to act as editors or curators, and to actively pull out information that is novel and important, and post it onto topic pages.
Whichever approach is taken, I have no doubt that we will see social curation emerging as a key component of our business social networking tools in the near future.
And we will still be relying on human beings as the key element of sense making, not machinery."
Important topic. Good analysis. 7/10
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