Content curation is a hot topic – for media properties and brands alike. This statement alone is not surprising to people who pay attention to the leading indicators in social media. Sites like Gawker, Mashable, Engadget and others have been systematically moving in a direction of less original content and more curated content. “Curated” in this sense means that content is sourced from various creators around the web and served up through a central location. The Curator or Publisher typically adds a small amount of perspective or context to remain relevant to their audience.
If content curation is the buzzy “citizen media” of yesteryear, infographics are its hot, multimedia counterpart . Infographics are images that range from lame design treatments of simple statistics to mind-blowing works of art that effectively convey a story in a single graphic. Similar to the “viral video” of yesteryear, infographics are taking over the air waves on social media channels. When done effectively, an infographic is itself a form of visual content curation. Multiple stories, headlines, or statistics can be curated from various sources into a single picture, with a small amount of perspective or context from the designer.
To illustrate how quickly the rate of change is accelerating, we are now finding that content curators are curating curated content… Did you follow that? Not only do we have content being curated from various sources, now we are curating the best of curated content. One quick example is Mashable’s popular “Top 12 Mashable Infographics” which curates the best* infographics on Mashable… Which themselves curate content from various sources.
As the volume of content and media expands exponentially, curation is the only logical way to keep pace with demand and remain relevant. The leading innovators among Fortune 500 companies are already aware of this – and the top companies are already developing solutions that allow them to participate in this new “collaboration economy“. The one thing we can bank on is the speed of change will not slow down – the companies that will lead are able to behave as storybuilders more than storytellers and “respond in real time to an unpredictable audience” [Fast Company].
* Note: the list of top infographics seems pretty lame – they definitely have better infographics on Mashable.