The Future of Pulling Content is You
Digital content has been unbundled, segmented and splattered all over social media, aggregators, mobile Apps, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, individual websites, blogs, micro-blogs, and discussion communities.
This has created a user dilemma: How to re-assemble the content that matters to you every day?
If you had a view about this in 2005, like Fred Wilson did, you would see RSS at the center of it all, and as Fred rightfully pointed out, the future of media as seen from a content lens was about to get microchunked, freed, syndicated, and monetized.
2005 was a time when we were enamored with RSS feeds. RSS readers were perceived as the solution for getting a handle on your daily reading habits. And it was manageable to some extent because social media hadn’t proliferated yet, and blogs as the long tail of content weren’t as popular yet, so you could conceivably configure a hundred feeds you wanted to follow, and be happy with it. This isn’t the case anymore today, because content sources are like moving sand. They keep evolving, even more rapidly than before.
Today, every one of us is a publisher, and we are publishing willy-nilly everywhere, anytime and all the time. This has created a challenge in re-assembling that content from a user point of view. I already wrote about the new Internet user stack which is getting more complicated because of the rising levels of competencies that are now required in the areas of personal robotics, cryptocurrency, smartification of things, self-quantification and the consumer cloud. But now, we also need to go hunting for content, following links, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups, aggregated sites, mobile Apps like Nuzzel, Feedly, Zite, etc…
Whether we like it or not, content is rebellious and capricious, because it wants to be constantly:
This makes it more challenging to find content. And it is getting harder, not simpler. We need to be constantly PULLING content on our own. Content will not come to us assembled or aggregated like it used to come in the old newspaper. We are left to our own devices. Some of us are getting good at it, others less, but it’s a competency we have to develop. And it is time consuming.
So, what is the solution?
I don’t think there is a technological solution that solves the fact that content has been blown to bits, literally.
The solution is you and I spending time to gather/pull all this content on our own. I wished it was easier.
I think it is easier than every to find what you need.
If you put in the time and build your networks, cross all the platforms, 90+% of all that you need finds you or can be found with almost no effort.
Invariably the effort to find the last pieces is almost never worth the effort.
In the face of all the noise, all the confusion, the web actually feels manageable and quieter.
We live in different worlds it seems 😉
i think you can get to 80-90% probably, fairly reasonably, but you still need to configure stuff, and form habits. But I think the long tail is perhaps more time-consuming to muster, and perhaps that’s where the edge might be, no?
Dunno but a good question.
My greatest product is my networks and they simply work without much infrastructure to tie them together.
The magic of the web today is that regardless of the noise, regardless of the lack of tools, regardless of the dizzying amount of stuff, it’s just easy to find what you need.
ok, but you need to configure yourself accordingly. and it does take time spent in those networks and communities, whether it’s Facebook or AVC.
Point is- if you didn’t spend time, then not much would come to you on its own, except for email newsletters.
I also agree with you and also experienced it Arnold….
“if it is important … it will find you.”
yup.. most people don’t have huge networks. their “network” is NYT, CNN, etc rather than a bunch of individual people.
speaking of email newsletters, still am a huge huge fan of a mobile, social email newsletter reader: http://www.horizonapp.co/blog/mobile-social-email-newsletter-reader/
someone w/ existing scale (twitter?) should build it
That’s a good point Drew re: newsletters. I forgot to mention them. They are typically an extension of curation / aggregation efforts.
Maybe it is only easy for us to fine all the stuff we already think we need but not as easy to discover unfamiliar stuff that helps expand/reframe into new perspectives beyond our established network ghettos ?
I’m fascinated by the network-synchronization-themes that overlaps between “biologically adaptive systems” and “socially adaptive systems.
In particular I’m interested in how generic/interdisciplinary network-thinking will ultimately translate into a mass-culture toolset of narrative/metaphoric memes that broadly accelerate social/commercial problem solving through more effective/realistic collaborative visualization.
This motivates me to scan interdisciplinary idea sites like
a site rich in targets that may offer up some simplified interdisciplinary narratives/metaphors about practical network thinking/visualization.
It is easy to find obvious posts like this one
THINKING IN NETWORK TERMS
however finding other interdisciplinary networking-thinking related posts within the overall site content is much more time consuming.
That is where some sort of more advanced “semantic-web” drill down tools would be nice.
I’m not that digitally sophisticated, so maybe I’m just unaware/unskilled at using such tools/techniques other than the obvious Google/YouTube/Twitter searches.
All hints welcome!
So it is digital Humpty-Dumpty time ?
I like Edge too.
I think the solution is part serendipity, part time related. If you spend enough time in these online places, you’ll end-up discovering interesting content. One thing leads to another.