With the news that Summify, a Vancouver-based startup that aggregates popular stories from your feed and publishes them to your followers, has been bought by Twitter, it keeps content curation and aggregation right at the top of what people want to be able to do with the potential overwhelm that can be your social media feeds.
The idea behind such tools as Summify, Paper.li, news.me and Storify is that key stories from your feeds can be shared with your audience without too much intervention by you apart from setting up your requirements. I have only given a few examples here as there are many many tools out there and coming up in the market, all trying to be the best to fix a perceived common problem. The tools make the assumption that the most popular stories in your feed are those that deserve sharing and that are likely in turn to be of interest to you and your followers.These tools provide a mechanised way of making sense of your content, but if anyone can set them up and let them run for their followers, does this make them a valuable form of content curation, or a common-denominator form of content aggregation that in turn creates more clutter in your feed?
The increasing number and range of these tools are set to improve your ability to manage your different feeds and to make sense of them in order to find the best stories to share; but even with the best tool you still need to employ human judgement and choice in order to uncover the hottest issues and the most interesting topics for your particular audience, and this is the critical difference between content aggregation and content curation.
Using these tools as a starting point rather than an end game can improve your productivity, but standalone they cannot replace the human factor of curation, which provides insight and meaning from your own individual perspective, and which allows you to pursue a fundamental aspect of this strategy, that of building and developing your relationships directly with your audience.
While the different services can to a greater or lesser degree filter to your requirements, does it take a person to really add value from a content curation point of view? What do you think? I would love to hear your views in the comments below.