April 2012 – Curate This!

Earlier this month I shared the press release of the launch of Scribit™. Scribit changes the way businesses find and share great content, and makes it insanely easy to engage and convert new visitors on your website and social pages. In short, Scribit let’s businesses curate content in a way that is relevant to their core business and drives traffic back to their site. Unless you have been living under a rock this year then you have probably heard about the meteoric rise of Pinterest and the buzz word of the day ‘curation’. It’s been said that information wants to be free, it would seem that it also wants to be curated. So what does, this movement to crowd sourced content recommendations mean for, well, everything?

It seems almost everywhere you loom there s a “Share This” button of some sort on every piece of content across the web. Facebook and Twitter feeds are almost coalescing into nothing more than heavily personalized news aggregators. Within in a few clicks, even grandma can blow up your social stream with the latest Piccadilly specials and embarrassing baby pictures. I wonder how many people still use RSS feeds or navigate to the landing pages of traditional news outlets to get their news today. To be fair, my two neighbors still get the print copy of the USA today everyday; they won’t survive the zombie apocalypse. I for one get a lot of my updates as they are posted on my various social streams. This paradigm shift coming after ‘Liking’ and ‘Following’ most of the publisher’s I trust, such as LifehackerWiredCNN, etc. I even prefer news aggregator apps like Flipboard and Zite for beautifully flipping through news consolidated around my preferences and reading trends.
While all of this technology is great in how it’s making iPhone reporters of us all, there remain some fun pros and even more dangerous cons to advance of the curation and social news stream movements. It is great to watch how like wild-fire social memes spread with all their hilarity. There is value and shocking ferocity in which Twitter can break news faster than traditional media outlets (almost always regarding a celebrity’s death – see Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston). These are some of the lighter points of web posts, with the commonality between them being speed. Information and trends spread to friends and the world faster than any other time in our history. Revolutions sparked and coordinated through a simple 140 character social platform accessed through smartphones, laptops and texts.
It’s this same break neck pace that may be the most worrisome aspect of all this social content curation and sharing. Stories that aren’t always vetted before turning Viral – See KONY 2012. We’re nearing a cross roads of curation and sharing. One in which a demand for accuracy and reliability may require social platforms introduce speed bumps to prevent or the social smartphone class bashing introduced when instagram came to Android or even racist twitter hockey trends. It will become more and more important for brands and individuals looking to protect their online reputations to seek content from sources they know are reliable and trustworthy, rather than relying on re=posting blindly or letting trends run unfettered. Content clearing houses like Scribit will become more instrumental in the dissemination of news and content.
I tried Scribit out for myself for 24 days during April and saw literally a 2,163% increase in site visits to my site over the same period last year. Now granted I am a tiny personal blog site; but can you imagine what that even a 100% increase in site traffic could mean for most business sites? What’s more is that I could curate content to my site that I know comes from trusted sources not influenced by the potential inaccurate viral craze of twitter trends or Facebook meme reposts. I love all the increased traffic, but I love the accuracy and confidence in sharing quality posts more. Pinterest’s rise has been great but brought with issues. I think it will be very interesting to see where the curation movement takes us all the second half of this year. At the very least though, I am glad to see information flow more freely. There is relief and inner confidence in the self empowering ability to spread news globally in the click of button. The responsibility that comes with that power has been ignored so far, but tools like Scribit are putting responsibility back into “Sharing.”
To wrap up, I want to share, this highly anticipated piece aof content with you that you still have a few months to wait on. The new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.

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