Content curation is on the verge of a new era. It will soon move beyond basic aggregation and organization and into a much more immersive phase of experience. Liken Content Curation 1.0 (CC1) to the two-dimensional schematics of your dream home, and CC2 to a three-dimensional walkthrough with Google Glass.
Here is a pristine example of CC1. Steadishots.org is a wonderful site devoted to the art of steady-camera technology (steadicam) that allows video camera operators to capture scenes with virtually zero camera-shake. With steadicam, movie makers can capture longer single-take sequences and smoother camera movement. Steadishots.org, with the help of its fan base, has curated the best steadicam scenes from popular film in typical CC1 fashion. On one page, you see links to the top 20 clips along with information about each. A click on one of the titles gets you more information and the clip itself.
A coworker of mine did something very simple but very powerful – he took those clips and curated them a second time (CC2) into one brilliant 10-minute tribute to steadicam. The result is an immersive experience with a growing following.
Keep this in mind: the content is the same and it was already curated. What my coworker did was curate CC1-style content into a moving experience. This is CC2.
Steadicam serves as a sobering analogy. CC1 can be like a movie shot with a shaky camera. You get the content, but it is choppy. You have to click here and then there. You can watch one video but then it stops and you have to open the next. CC2 is like retaking the shot with a steadicam rig so that the viewer is no longer distracted by the viewfinder – you see and experience the view and forget there is even a camera there. For those of us with content to curate and offer to our customers, we must rethink our strategies and transform that content into better storytelling, experience, and symbols.
There are at least two approaches to this. The first is to use CC2 methods to create your own, single, engaging curations like the tribute to steadicam. The other is to curate your content in such a way that it can be easily consumed and transformed by the customers themselves. We are on the cusp of a wave of disruptive technologies that will change the way we experience our content.
I have a TV hanging on the wall in my office. It is connected with Apple TV. I pair it with my iPad or Macbook to collaborate with colleagues. We can view websites, apps, or turn it into a whiteboard with a drawing app. When I’m not using TV for collaboration, I stream music, play photo streams, watch TED Talks or other videos on Vimeo or YouTube, etc.
What I want to do, but cannot find an easy way to do just yet, is to be able to curate my own content from anywhere online and create a “content playlist” and have it just run on the TV all day. YouTube and Vimeo have playlists and channels and things like couch mode, but they still seem clunky and fragmented – like a shaky camera.
We are approaching a time where disruptive technologies will arise and allow me to easily curate consumable content from a variety of sources and create one master channel/playlist that then runs through it all. In this way, I don’t have to hop from the WSJ Live app to the Vimeo app to Flipboard to Twitter to CNN news to get my content. I will be able to select individual pieces, or create search criteria and have the content I want delivered to me in the manner that I want regardless of the source. One channel can be nothing but pictures of Padua, Italy, where I want to visit some day. And those pictures can come from Flickr, Google Earth, or websites devoted to a landmark there. Another channel can be all of the Facebook/Instagram photos taken by my curated choice of friends. Another can be a combination of Twitter feeds, LinkedIn updates, technology news headlines, etc.
Once these new technologies emerge, we have in essence crowdsourced the ability to create immersive experiences. Anyone in the world can create a channel and share it. Together we will rank these channels and select from the best or just create our own. Those businesses that create their content to be both engaging and easily consumable will naturally reap the benefits as they earn content ambassadors who deliver not just data but experiences to new customers.
I’m looking forward to both reaping the rewards of and being a pioneer in Content Curation 2.0. What about you?
Update: I wrote this post few just a few days prior to the new release of Flipboard, which demonstrates the point exactly.