Is Curation King

Blog Post By Ellie Behling
By now we’re all overly familiar with the term curation.
The word might have lost its novelty, but its importance is only
growing. Information overload has increased the need for curation ― both
in the form of tools and a new way of thinking, explained Steven
Rosenbaum, CEO of and author of the book Curation Nation.  

Technology alone will not solve the problem; it’s a misunderstanding to
think that content producers will be replaced by robots, he said.
“People are stuck on this idea that curation replaces creation,” said
Rosenbaum, speaking at a Social Media Week event Thursday in New York.
He believes that humans will still add value beyond what algorithms can
provide, serving as topical experts collecting information on a subject.
(Megan McCarthy’s Mediagazer ― an aggregation algorithm with a human heart ― comes to mind.) 
Rosenbaum began trumpeting the phrase “content is no longer king; curation is king,” which had some clout this summer. last year. In other words: “The king is no longer the maker, but the organizer.” 
How do creation companies become curation companies?
Rosenbaum’s thesis is that individuals are sidestepping the traditional
media company — but publishers could step up to take advantage of the
opportunity. In a commentary last year for Business Insider, Rosenbaum said publishers will have to mix both creation and curation to survive. He points to The Huffington Post as a good example of created, curated and crowd-sourced content. (AOL must have agreed, considering the price tag they paid for HuffPo.) 
Many publishers, like The Huffington Post, have experimented with
curation, particularly making strides in the last year with new
platforms combining aggregation and curation. 
Nonetheless, many media companies are struggling to recast their role as curators. Frank Rose, contributing editor at Wired and author of the book The Art of Immersion,
said media companies will need to rethink and re-imagine their role in
the current era ― which is difficult when they are used to making the
decisions about what’s important and not having a dialogue. 
“You would think that they would be naturally poised to take this role,
but it requires so much re-imagination of the way that they do things
that typically, as with any company that’s grown up in an old
technology, it’s going to be very difficult for them to do,” Rose said.  
Nowhere was that more evident than with the launch of The Daily. Though its business model and presentation is avant-garde, the editorial strategy is not. As Rob O’Regan observed this week: “How many iPad users will be willing to pay for a
gated cover story on the Egyptian uprising when they can use Flipboard — or simply their Web browser — to peruse a much broader set of news feeds and blog posts on the topic?”  
The developing narrative is a battle between an old-style buffet of
original content and a new-style social aggregation of news. A recent ReadWriteWeb headline says it all: “The Daily vs. Flipboard: One of These is the
Future of Newspapers…”  The winners will be publishers that can merge
both strategies. Publishers need to become the filters, rather than just
another source in an overwhelming sea of information.
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