This is a guest post by Scoop.it CEO Guillaume Decugis, originally published on TheStartUp.eu about how a curated and topic-centric Web can give us our voice back:
Social Media lets everyone speak all the time. So what happens? Noise. Not just that of course: great content gets shared, inspiring ideas get tweeted and retweeted, interesting analysis spread, etc… but who never felt overwhelmed by the amount of content we receive on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and whatever other forms of social media we use. A lot of people wrote about how this perceived information overload prevents readers from finding signal in the noise (including myself) and how we badly needed new filters.
But there’s another problem:
In that noise, how can you be a voice that gets heard? How can you be relevant? How can you find your audience?
As a teenager, I wanted to be a novel writer: I loved reading and I loved writing. And now I’m a Web Entrepreneur. So how come I never managed to start a blog?
If not having a blog seems to be tolerate, “As a Tech Entrepreneur, you have to be on Twitter”, seems to be a must you cannot discuss.
Sadly, I admit that’s how I got onto it. Not because I fell in love with it, nor because I felt I could be heard. Actually I was terrified by just the opposite: sure, tweeting was simple, but starting at 0 followers (well not exactly, my teammates were kind enough to follow me so make it 10…), how could I be heard when Robert Scoble was already broadcasting at 1,000 miliscobles to thousands of people?
Social media had brought us great engagement and resulted in great sharing activity but that one thing had been lost in the way: meaning. A lot of people were saying we needed curation. Not just in the sense of filtering : curating is not only about selecting, it’s also about highlighting and sharing content with analysis or comments that give it a specific – and most of the time subjective – meaning. Blogs had been focusing people’s energy on becoming writers or journalists. That’s good. But we felt we now needed to bring people’s energy on collectively creating this meaning out of all that produced content.
Are we social if we do not listen to each other?
After a hectic start, there’s one thing I discovered getting on Twitter: no one seemed to listen to me. Unlike on Facebook where my friends do care enough to react to my lame jokes, I’m not a celebrity so no one gives a damn that I’m in a night club having a great time. But when I started tweeting on what I knew well (eg iphone app marketing, a topic we pioneered at the time), I got re-tweeted or replied. And finding out what to tweet also became easy. Focusing on topics seems to solve both inspiration and the getting-heard problem.
The idea behind Scoop.It is simple but more and more necessary in a world of digital abundance: with lots of content available out there, you’re probably better off giving your own twist, your witty comment or your smart sarcasm to an article or a video made by someone else rather than duplicate content or write yet-another-blog-post on something already covered a dozen times. And if the platform is designed to help you find the right content, it’s much easier.
Expression through curation. To tell your story on your topic, I think it definitely matters.
If, like Valeria Maltoni (who recently gave a great speech on influence at SxSWi), “[you] didn’t start a blog to be influential but because [you] had a voice”, you should join us and start a topic.
Nothing is more addictive than being heard.