We live in a world in which social technologies are being used to establish networks and communities that quickly define their own set of social behaviours, customs and dialects.
Once the foundation is created, a set of norms is established and adopted with relative ease before entering our social and cultural fabric with very little resistance.
Consider Twitter as a case study in which a dialect and set of social customs has been established enabling people to use a mash-up of characters (@, RT, MT, #, FF, via) and behaviours (thanks for the RT, thanks for the share, thanks for the follow, welcome @) that are widely adopted and universally expected in a few short years.
In most cases, these networks grow so quickly and become successful because they solve a specific pain-point, or deliver value that enriches our lives or simplifies a difficult task.
LinkedIn, for example, makes it easier for people to network and build business relationships. Twitter delivers access to information and news faster than ever before. Facebook is the quintessential digitization of a traditional community where people share stories about their lives, while Pinterest is a highly creative and visual vehicle to deliver opinion, taste and interest in an aesthetic context.
At Atomic Reach, we work at the nexus of discovery/curation and community. Much like the examples above, discovery/curation has its own set of customs, behaviours and dialects being established in near real-time. The role of search, which was once the gatekeeper to content, must now work hand-in-hand with discovery to deliver an information experience that is valuable, efficient, reliable and social.
In the age of information discovery, we rely on our trusted networks of peers, sources, feeds, experts and friends to share and help us discover the opinions, news and stories we want to consume each day.
Without these information gatekeepers or curators, the information systems we used to rely on would be much less effective. The sheer volume of content that exists and the rate at which new content is being produced makes it nearly impossible for people to co-exist with information in any other context.
Our curators discover, filter and share, their actions establish a level of trust, credibility and inherent interest in the content they are promoting.
Curators are the connectors between the content we want to consume and the people who are producing this content on our behalf. Curators often include their own thoughts and opinions, which provides a level of deeper analysis and context, which we often find informative, entertaining and educational.
While search engines and algorithms continue to play a pivotal role on how information is indexed, we would be drowning in a dearth of content irrelevance without curators helping to filter, discover and share.