Three and half years ago, my friend Steve Rosenbaum came out with a book that had a huge impact: Curation Nation. He described perhaps better than anyone else how much content curation was needed and how important a trend it will be. His latest book Curate This! just got published and it’s a fantastic read: not only is it a curation jewel in itself but he also introduces a new concept that paints the future of what the Web could eventually become: the desert island.
It’s a jewel of curation because he manages to summarize in a style which is crisp and enjoyable the state of content curation today: in particular why you should “curate or die”, what the best case studies and examples are and the tools and best practices to embrace it. In a rare combination, he manages to be inspirational and very concrete with hands on examples.
Take for instance his analysis of BuzzFeed and Upworthy. At LeWeb last year, I gave a talk on how brands should become media. Brian Solis – who wrote an interesting foreword to Steve’s book – came out with the sentence: “Brands Must Become Media to Earn Relevance” and a lot of us observing the media evolution saw content curation play an important role in that move. If you look at all the recent media successes – from the Huffington Post or Business Insider to Upworthy, BuzzFeed – they all have one thing in common: none of them rely purely on creating content. Rosenbaum made that observation a long time ago and Curate This! contains excellent case studies that capture the key reasons for their curation success.
But in addition to giving a 360° panoramic view on the state of content curation in 2014, this book develops a concept that might well change a lot for content marketers: the desert island.
Rosenbaum introduced the concept a few months ago by predicting that we will soon have tools to completely shut off noise in our daily lives.
Take email for instance, there are already tools much more sophisticated that spam filters (I use unroll.me) to clean your email inbox. And they’re effective. Soon, says Rosenbaum, consumers will become better and better equipped to filter everything from their emails to their social media streams. They’ll be leaving the noise of the Web for their own private desert island where they’ll bring only what they choose to: their (real) friends and… their interests.
His vision could very well be the future of the Web: a curated Web where relevance is the #1 currency and where you should “curate or die”. So if you want to survive the next Web and still be able to reach your customers, you’d better curate this! and learn about the 5 curation rules to live by.