A nice quick hit from CJR‘s Steven Rosenbaum today in favor of curation, which has somehow become a bad word in journalistic circles — or at least a misunderstood one.
Information overload drives content consumers to look for human-filtered, journalist-vetted, intellectually-related material. This hunger for coherence isn’t unreasonable; it’s essential.
Even in the days before information overload, contextual links to other interesting sites and articles were the norm. Now it seems that unless it’s part of a “strategic partnership” or is otherwise monetized, stories on the web are less about helping the user by providing useful context. This concept, among others, is well explored by Anil Dash is his post “The Web We Lost“:
Ten years ago, you could allow people to post links on your site, or to show a list of links which were driving inbound traffic to your site. Because Google hadn’t yet broadly introduced AdWords and AdSense, links weren’t about generating revenue, they were just a tool for expression or editorializing. The web was an interesting and different place before links got monetized, but by 2007 it was clear that Google had changed the web forever, and for the worse, by corrupting links.
As Dash points out, “This isn’t our web today.” I maintain that if startup founders and VCs funded solutions to the problems faced by media, instead of the latest location-based social check-in app or redundant e-commerce site, we could find solutions to help rebuild the industry.