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4.0 out of 5 stars An Editorial Shift in the Balance of Power, May 1, 2011
This review is from: Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators (Hardcover)
There are several types of applications for content curation processes - my review is written from the perspective of a seasoned marketing practitioner.

I believe that Steven Rosenbaum has compiled a comprehensive assessment of the topic in his book, Curation Nation. He calls curation the "new magic" of the connected world - fixing the signal-to-noise problem and making the world contextual and coherent again.

Note, in March 2011 at the South by Southwest conference, I saw Mr. Rosenbaum present a summary of the findings of his research and extensive interviews that resulted in this thought-provoking book. He has demonstrated an in-depth understanding of why the future of content is applied context.

The conclusion of his observations, analysis and compelling examples are very simply put - "we are all curators." He also says, for some it will be accidental. For others, it will become part of who we are. And, for a few of us, curation will become our livelihood.

I had not previously considered the long history of content curation within the publication field. The example of the "Reader's Digest" magazine -- the well-known compendium of abridged articles -- is mentioned early in the book. In hindsight, it provided me a helpful conceptual foundation for the numerous other application scenarios mentioned throughout this book.

Given my professional background, my view of "why human curation matters" was somewhat limited by my own experience. Mr. Rosenbaum's detailed explanations and varied case studies really helped to broaden my awareness of all the other potential possibilities.

Chapter 5 is about Content Entrepreneurs, and it describes some of the more disruptive characteristics of curation applications today. It also sets the stage for a discussion of what constitutes "fair use" of other people's content - which is a contentious issue, for sure.

It seems that achieving the most effective curation result is part Art, part Science and perhaps lucky Serendipity. This quote from chapter 7 is profound; "creating unique, memorable content isn't a formula - it's a happy accident. In the same way, as publishers struggle to figure out curation, there will be a few leaders and lots of followers searching for the future economic model for content."

Andrew Blau's summary of the transformation aspects of content curation sums up the implications to the legacy publisher status quo, and particularly why big media companies don't like this emerging trend. He said "What is clearly happening is that there are many, many more people speaking in public -- or some version of public -- without having to ask for permission, some of whom seem to be able to accumulate large audiences, some audiences the scale of traditional broadcast television or feature films."

In summary, this book is a current snapshot of this topic, based upon both historical and recent events. Once you've read it, you may want to conduct your own ongoing research. That was my take-away - I'm intrigued by this subject, and I want to learn more. I also want to enhance my skills in the area of content strategy development, within a marketing context.
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Location: Austin, Texas | London, England

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