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.