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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

News Commentary Curation Distribution


The post The Future of the News Ecosystem pointed me to the Stephen Johnson Picture shown above. While I don't necessarily believe that things are nearly so linear, it is a good picture of the kind of flow, enhancement, filtering that happens.

This was great to see and think about with the launch of several new Topic Hubs:

Like earlier topic hubs, they rely on News from bloggers and web content from other sources as indicated by bloggers. The commentary layer is very light in that it only occurs as part of coming up with hot lists (Hot List) Curation is aggregation, group filter (social signals) and lightweight editing (selection).

There's definitely an open question of what makes sense in what case as described in Aggregation Types.

In these we consider some of the differentiation among the various forms of aggregation:

  • Centralized content or distributed content. Do they pull all the content into the central site or leave it distributed on the original source?
  • Organization and Access - how do they organize the content. Human tagging? Automated? How do you access it?
  • Editorial Distribution - Single person, small group or widely distributed control of what comes in and what is best?

In this case, it considers different forms of distribution separate from the forms of curation. I'm going to need to think through how to best categorize this, but I like the picture.

While I'm on it, great post - Feed Standardization Will Commoditize Feed Aggregation, So Let’s Create The Semantic Web! by Nick O'Neill. While he's talking primarily about feeds of updates, e.g., facebook, twitter, friendfeed, etc., I think this applies pretty well to aggregation more generally:

As we move toward a standardized way of presenting feed stories to aggregators, the value provided by the aggregators is essentially commoditized.

At the end of the day, value is maximized through more efficient custom filtering services that the users can participate in creating.

Participate is somewhat a loaded term. Really participation can be automatic or manual. But the point that part of filtering can be based on user activity is a good thing to consider. What's missing from the picture above is the consumption side of things. Part of consumption is likely personal filtering as well.

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