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Content Explosion <ul><li>“ There was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
how do we map them? <ul><li>manual tagging </li></ul><ul><li>automated tagging </li></ul>
how do we map them? <ul><li>manual tagging </li></ul><ul><li>automated tagging </li></ul>
 
 
 
<ul><li>Old news:  there’s a huge shift underway in the patterns of content distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Empowering user...
 
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Content curation for mobile devices slideshare

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Empowering users to curate their own streams of content is a win for both personalization and content discovery. So far, almost all digital content curation has been source-based. But the next wave of digital media readers will be even more powerful, letting users curate based on what the content is _about_, not just where it's _from_.

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  • Originally presented in September 2010 at Mobilize (http://event.gigaom.com/mobilize/)
  • Before you google it: an exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes. And no, I have no idea how that number was calculated. Does video and audio count as “information,” and if so, at what resolution are we talking about digitizing it? Whatever. It’s a huge number, and it sounds cool. And the point is simple: there’s a ton of stuff out there we might be interested in reading/watching/listening to.
  • Curation is not an answer for every kind of information need. Task-focused info retrieval is still better served by search, e.g. “What date was Abraham Lincoln born,” “What athletic conference does University of Hawaii play in,” or “What’s the historical price of gold from WWII to present?” But curation *is* a great sol’n for content discovery, where you don’t always know what you don’t know. I probably don’t wake up one day and ask “has Apple changed their TOS for iOS to exclude 3 rd party platform apps?” But if I’m interested in mobile app space, this is good stuff to know. I hesitate to just say “news,” because “Double Rainbow” or “Dude you have no Quran” don’t really qualify as “news,” so let’s stick with “content discovery.”
  • Curation is not aggregation. Curation is selection: filtering content for relevance to a particular viewpoint or bias. The content isn’t original, but there’s value added through context and a high signal-noise ratio. That signal is the curator’s message. Synthesis and abstraction is made easier for the reader (for better or for worse…) Quality as a filter, key difference between curation as used when talking about Web content (get rid of the crap) and traditional usage (museum curators don’t think they have “crap” in their collections) It can be a fuzzy line between aggregation and curation, and even between curation and content creation sometimes. I think of it this way: Google alerts on every news article containing “Microsoft” is not curation. If you sifted through all those Google hits and only Tweeted the ones that were interesting to you, that’s curation. If you tag each one with a little 2 sentence blurb of your take on it, that’s still curation. If you read all those articles and posted 3-4 paragraph blog posts about how some of them impacted the industry, e.g. Mary Joe Foley’s “All About Microsoft” blog, that’s content creation.
  • Curation of Web content is not a new phenomenon – structured directories like Yahoo! were a form of content curation – but there has been a shift in who’s doing the curation, and the tools available to empower them. Here’s a quick survey of the evolution of curation on the WWW, starting with a few prominent examples of “old school” sites and services.
  • Curation of Web content is not a new phenomenon – structured directories like Yahoo! were a form of content curation – but there has been a shift in who’s doing the curation, and the tools available to empower them. Here’s a quick survey of the evolution of curation on the WWW, starting with a few prominent examples of “old school” sites and services.
  • Curation of Web content is not a new phenomenon – structured directories like Yahoo! were a form of content curation – but there has been a shift in who’s doing the curation, and the tools available to empower them. Here’s a quick survey of the evolution of curation on the WWW, starting with a few prominent examples of “old school” sites and services.
  • Techmeme is probably the closest thing in this bunch to being a straight up aggregator, but it does use both algorithms + human editorial oversight to filter and order content
  • The second wave of tools democratized curation, making it easy for anyone to put together an ongoing feed of content just like Jason Kottke. Twitter not only made “blogging” dramatically more accessible (as “microblogging”), it let users package up lists of other microbloggers and share that collection back out as its own stream
  • Both Tumblr and Posterous encourage a “scrapbook” model of blogging. No need to sit down for an hour and crank out five or six paragraph posts; just dash off a few words connected to a link or a photo. Annotating &amp; republishing other people’s content adds value in this ecosystem.
  • Both Tumblr and Posterous encourage a “scrapbook” model of blogging. No need to sit down for an hour and crank out five or six paragraph posts; just dash off a few words connected to a link or a photo. Annotating &amp; republishing other people’s content adds value in this ecosystem.
  • Reddit and Digg crowd-source the curation effort. Individuals seed the stream, but the community determines what makes the cut.
  • Pearltrees and Twine leverage the community in a more structured way, building out hives of related content.
  • Pearltrees and Twine leverage the community in a more structured way, building out hives of related content.
  • Curation and aggregation are a perfect fit for mobile. Mobile is more about content consumption than content creation, and given the existing limitations on input modality, bandwidth, screen real estate, task switching, etc., the discovery process for new content is more awkward on a mobile device. This won’t *always* be the case, but it is today. Yes, you can edit video on your iPhone 4. It’s far from the ideal platform to do so. I have an iPad and I love it; I do a lot of email with it on the bus. I bring it to conferences and take notes. But I didn’t use it to put this deck together. So, agreed: it’s a better mobile experience to page through a series of articles without Googling. But there’s still the bootstrapping issue: how do you discover the curated sources (streams, subreddits, pearl trees, etc.) that fit your interests?
  • Right now, the most popular answer to that question is to focus on the content shared by your social graph. Bundle it up, filter it, tweak the presentation, and generally provide a nicer form factor for consuming the content. Evolution of social graph consumption model, Stage 1: Just use Twitter or FB. On Twitter, create lists to organize ppl by topic or relationship.
  • Evolution Evolution of social graph consumption model, Stage 2: Instapaper – you do the filtering as you skim through the original stream. Bundle up an anthology for later deep reading.
  • Evolution Evolution of social graph consumption model, Stage 3: Flipboard – the content is the focus, not the medium. Twitter becomes a transmission vector, like RSS, nothing more. Focus on the form factor and improving the reading experience.
  • There’s a lot that’s great about this model of discovering content through your social graph: Content discovery comes “for free,” effortless on-boarding High personal relevance and engagement on comments, already in the right context for discussion Great at serendipity factor
  • But as good as it is, there’s a major area where this model falls down: there are a lot of things I’m interested in that the majority of my friends aren’t. (And vice-versa.) For example, I’m a bit of a gamer. But of my 175 Facebook friends, maybe three or four of them share that passion. So I know that relying on my social graph for updates from PAX or GDC isn’t going to cut it.
  • Twitter is a bit better than FB in this respect -- “Facebook is for friends that are now strangers, Twitter is for strangers that should be your friends.” – Dave Surgan (@hamsandwich) [ link ] Even if my actual social graph doesn’t include a bunch of semantic web experts, ultra-marathoners, Kabuki connoisseurs, etc., I can find ppl on Twitter who do care about those things, and tweet about them. Following them gives me topic-based updates, in a sense.
  • But ultimately what you’re doing here is pursuing a source-based approach to filtering. You can approximate an interest-based or topic-based feed by selecting publisher sources directly, e.g. Games = GamaSutra, Kotaku, Gamespot, IGN, etc. And in fact, Flipboard does this – FlipTech, FlipGaming, FlipGreen, FlipHome, FlipSports are all aggregations of individual source feeds. It works for high-level concepts where you can get a critical mass of topic-focused publishers. “Films,” yes (IMDB, Variety, RottenTomatoes), “Animated Films” not so much.
  • “ Tonight, the role of RSS will be played by Twitter.” On Twitter, you can not only pick from the blogs &amp; publishers that are tweeting their RSS feeds (Gizmodo, TechCrunch, etc.), you can also zero in on specific individuals as a proxy for more niche interests. There’s a slight advantage over RSS in that the RT mechanism means that there is some crowd-sourced filtering going on wrt what’s important; the more popular stuff will have a higher % chance of reaching your ears. But there’s the noise issue, too – maybe I follow Chris Messina because I care about oAuth and/or I think he’s a visionary when it comes to the so-called “social web.” But I don’t really care if he’s moving across town, and I don’t need to hear about broadband coverage issues in SF from him. Some stats to chew on re: decline of RSS, traffic rise from FB/Twitter, via [http://paidcontent.org/article/419-the-death-of-the-rss-reader/]: 2007-2008: Visits to Bloglines at the time were up 158 percent year-over-year, while traffic to Google Reader was up 267 percent. 2009-2010: Hitwise, for instance, tells us that visits to Google Reader are down 27 percent year-over-year, while visits to Bloglines are down 71 percent year-over-year.
  • So while there’s a ton of great value being captured right off the bat via source-based filtering -- via RSS-style publisher lists, via more granular domain experts on Twitter – there’s a big opportunity for improvement in topic-based curation tools and feeds; Not just “Entertainment” and “Sports,” but “Celebrities behind bars” and “PAC-10 Volleyball.” This is content-based curation – the building blocks for a stream aren’t the sources (publishers, domain experts, or friends) or their proxies; they’re the concepts themselves. So I might curate an “Agribusiness” feed to contain content focused on Monsanto, GMO’s, Cargill, monocropping, USDA, etc. Or instead of creating a feed about pop/rock from Boston-area musicians by syndicating the Boston Globe arts section, Boston Phoenix music section, etc. I define it by Pixies, Aerosmith, Dropkick Murphys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, etc.
  • So while there’s a ton of great value being captured right off the bat via source-based filtering -- via RSS-style publisher lists, via more granular domain experts on Twitter – there’s a big opportunity for improvement in topic-based curation tools and feeds; Not just “Entertainment” and “Sports,” but “Celebrities behind bars” and “PAC-10 Volleyball.” This is content-based curation – the building blocks for a stream aren’t the sources (publishers, domain experts, or friends) or their proxies; they’re the concepts themselves. So I might curate an “Agribusiness” feed to contain content focused on Monsanto, GMO’s, Cargill, monocropping, USDA, etc. Or instead of creating a feed about pop/rock from Boston-area musicians by syndicating the Boston Globe arts section, Boston Phoenix music section, etc. I define it by Pixies, Aerosmith, Dropkick Murphys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, etc.
  • How do we map concepts to content? Manual tagging works as long as you can get some decent convergence from crowdsourcing, get people to agree on a common tagging vocabular… and prevent spammers. Automated tagging (via natural language processing) can spot entity mentions and build relationship graphs between them. When precision or disambiguation fails, the results of NLP tagging are annoying (e.g. “The Huskies” Uconn vs. “The Huskies” UW) So what’s the best bet for the immediate future? Still NLP. Source doesn’t scale in an interesting way. It’s better than nothing, though, and helps prime consumer expectations (e.g. Flipboard today.) And there’s nothing wrong with tagging in principal. The problem is getting critical mass... I love OWL, RDF, etc. but I can’t wait for them. (FB may finally be a motivating factor to actually get publishers tagging their content -- like SEO for the new social web – we’ll see.) The bottom line is that NLP addresses much MORE content, and SOONER.
  • This is an example of a topic-based news feed on Evri [http://www.evri.com/users/WabiWasabi/casual-social-gaming.] The channel was created to focus on news about the rising economic impact of social games driving sales through virtual currency purchases and microtransactions. The problem with trying to put this together as a source-based channel is obvious: I’m not looking for tips on how to harvest more cows in Farmville, or release dates for Popcap’s next iOS release. Not only that, but many of the most interesting pieces in this space are written not in gaming publications but in Forbes, Venturebeat, the Economist, and the Wall Street Journal. P.S. Have I mentioned Flipboard already today? I don’t think they’re asleep at the wheel on this front; they acquired the Ellerdale Project which focused on high-scale entity extraction from social media streams, so I suspect their topical section definitions and/or filters will be much richer in the not-too-distant future.
  • Evri lets users define their feeds kind of the same way they might define a twitter list… only using semantic topics in place of twitter user id’s. This screenshot shows the simple definition for the social games channel, along with a few suggested topic areas that often appear in conjunction with the ones already selected (e.g. Mark Pincus, Electronic Arts, etc.) And have I mentioned Flipboard once or twice today? I don’t think they’re asleep at the wheel on this front; they acquired the Ellerdale Project which focused on high-scale entity extraction from social media streams, so I suspect their topical section definitions and/or filters will be much richer in the not-too-distant future.
  • PERSONALIZATION IS THE GATEWAY DRUG TO CURATION The great thing about having a simple tool like this for feed customization is that it also drives value back into the ecosystem for people who never even use it. Which is probably going to be most people, actually. About 85% of Evri’s registered users never customize any content feeds. They’ll browse through the channels on the home page and search for topics they’re interested in, and they may even subscribe for updates on some of those. But they don’t create their own channels or tweak existing ones. Those who do generally don’t have an audience in mind – they just want to tailor the news they’re reading to their own interests. But once a good channel is out there, it can find its own following. If it picks up critical mass, users get excited about their audience and migrate from just personalizing to evangelizing and curating content for this audience. The same thing can happen with Twitter lists, or any platform where personalized content becomes part of the public domain. Maybe you start off making a list of indie musicians on Twitter, because it’s a topic you care about and there’s no single unified coverage point that you trust for coverage. Then a couple people start following it, then a couple dozen, then a hundred. Suddenly you’re not just personalizing, you’re curating for an audience. There’s an obvious virtuous cycle here when it comes to identifying interesting topical blends... NLP can detect patterns, but it doesn’t a-priori know that “Celebrity engagements and breakups” is a much more interesting channel than “Lawyers giving press conferences.”
  • One last thing: I’m a big believer in the “channel” model, as opposed to the “just give me the perfect mix of things that I and only I am interested in.” http://www.theonion.com/video/boston-globe-tailors-print-edition-for-three-remai,17572/ I like Pandora because it doesn’t even attempt to figure out what *all* the music I like has in common (can you figure out what ‘80’s hair metal, Alt-country, and pop-jazz of the 1940’s have in common?). Even if you could, I don’t want to hear a mix of those genres side by side. Pandora make it easy to create each of those channels (or discover one that someone else has made), and tune in to them when I want.
  • One last thing: I’m a big believer in the “channel” model, as opposed to the “just give me the perfect mix of things that I and only I am interested in.” http://www.theonion.com/video/boston-globe-tailors-print-edition-for-three-remai,17572/ I like Pandora because it doesn’t even attempt to figure out what *all* the music I like has in common (can you figure out what ‘80’s hair metal, Alt-country, and pop-jazz of the 1940’s have in common?). Even if you could, I don’t want to hear a mix of those genres side by side. Pandora make it easy to create each of those channels (or discover one that someone else has made), and tune in to them when I want.
  • Netflix also took a big step forward imho when they moved from simply presenting a flat list of recommendations (“52 movies you’ll love!”) to grouping those recommendations by common features. It’s not just “my magic recommendation engine gives this a thumbs up,” it’s “I notice you enjoy witty foreign comedies with a strong female lead. Would you like to see more of those?” Both the Pandora and Netlfix examples underscore an important point about the evolution of personalization to curation: discrete, focused channels are easily and readily re-used throughout the public domain or a broad social graph, whereas opaque personalized definitions aren’t. I might be really interested in hearing your “Underrated New Wave Bands” channel, but unless you’re already a huge celebrity, chances are I’m not going to be interested in subscribing to the “Everything that USERX happens to like” channel. It’s not predictable, and there’s a low signal-to-noise ratio.
  • Wow, look what Slideshare did to this one… yikes. Recapping slide text: the fact that there’s a huge shift underway in the patterns of content distribution is old news. What may be a little more novel is the notion that empowering users to curate their own streams of content is a win for both personalization and general content discovery. As curation tools evolve beyond the limited source-only approaches, they open up a lot more interesting possibilities. There’s more ahead for curation than just scrapbooking or “retweeting the good stuff.” (Not to suggest that source-based and topic-based approaches to curation are mutually exclusive, btw – in fact, they’re complementary. If I’m tuning a good Boston Red Sox channel, I’m a lot less interested in what the NYT thinks than I would be if I were tuning a channel on digital journalism.)
  • Transcript of "Content curation for mobile devices slideshare"

    1. 3. Content Explosion <ul><li>“ There was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing.” – Eric Schmidt, Google </li></ul><ul><li>t </li></ul>
    2. 11.
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    12. 27.
    13. 28. how do we map them? <ul><li>manual tagging </li></ul><ul><li>automated tagging </li></ul>
    14. 29.
    15. 30. how do we map them? <ul><li>manual tagging </li></ul><ul><li>automated tagging </li></ul>
    16. 31.
    17. 35. <ul><li>Old news: there’s a huge shift underway in the patterns of content distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Empowering users to curate their own streams of content is a win for both personalization and content discovery </li></ul><ul><li>There’s more ahead for curation than just “retweeting the good stuff” </li></ul><ul><li>P.S. Source-based and content-based approaches are not mutually exclusive; in fact they’re complementary </li></ul>
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