Content flood

Problem: Continuous Content Flood

“Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until  2003.” – Eric Schmidt, Former CEO, Google

Does that come as a surprise? If, like me, you’re an “infomaniac,” I suspect not. We are under a constant barrage of information coming from all quarters; most of it from social networks. For example:

Factor in the amount of content being routed through LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and other networks (and let’s not forget email), and if you’re attempting to keep up with even a smidgen of that, you’ve still got a real mess on your hands.

People employ a number of tactics to make this barrage of information more manageable. We use everything from RSS feed readers, Twitter lists and hashtags, social bookmarking applications, Google+ Circles and LinkedIn Today category segmentation to more sophisticated approaches such as the use of social listening tools like Radian6, SM2, Trackur and Bottlenose.

Not only that, new technologies from companies like CurationSoft, MassRelevance and Curata have been developed specifically to help brands and marketers navigate through the content jungle. Add to that the use of curation platforms such as Paper.li and Rebelmouse and even the choice of which technology to use becomes onerous.

And that’s just part of the problem!

The other is that we marketers are predisposed to talking, but not listening. Just think about the vast wasteland of unresponded to tweets, Facebook status updates and blog posts. It’s not that many of these lack quality or are underserving of a response, it’s just that there are too many of them! We simply don’t have time to pay attention.

One Solution: Content “Deal of the Day”

I’ve been contemplating an idea that may or may not have value, but thought it worth bringing to your attention. (Keep in mind that I’ve not fully processed this idea. It may be filled with holes. You tell me.)

What if we borrowed the “deal of the day” concept used by Groupon, LivingSocial and others and applied it to content? By that I mean that we create a site where, each day, registered members rate or vote on a small selection of articles and blog posts. The piece that receives the highest rating becomes the content deal of the day, so to speak. Content could be divided into major categories covering topics such as business, entertainment, politics and the like. Members could choose one or more categories in which to participate.

I see a number of benefits to this approach.

  1. For one brief shining moment, rather than being relegated to the content waste dump, the article (and its author) receives the attention it deserves.
  2. Members are able to focus on a single piece of content, which they can read, comment on and share via social networks.
  3. Like rising cream, it ensures that higher quality content makes it to the top. (One would hope anyway)

Here are the parts I’m still working on:

  • How does content to be voted on get selected? Do members submit content? Does that become the purview of a select group of editors? Could it be done using an algorithm?
  • What criteria, if any, is established to determine which content makes the cut?

Regardless of the manner in which content is selected – either human or machine – I believe there is validity to this concept. On the other hand, this post may just prove that I have less than a basic understanding of the state of content curation in its current iteration.

All I know is that every day I am presented with scores and scores of new articles, blog posts, tweets, status updates, pins and emails. I can’t keep up – and Lord only knows I try. I want someone to make the decision for me, or at least reduce the number of options. And I am not the only one who feels this way.

So, what do you think? In your opinion, does this approach have validity or am I completely off base? Your feedback – positive or negative – would be appreciated.