[This post was contributed by Jen Mediano. Mediano is a freelance writer and veteran of top interactive agencies including Razorfish and R/GA.]
In a discussion between NewTeeVee blogger Ryan Lawler and Magnify CEO Steve Rosenbaum at Internet Week, it was established that content curation is king now. “‘Content is king’ is a dead phrase” Rosenbaum scoffed.
With both professional and amateur curators aggregating content on so many platforms, what does this mean for PR, the industry whose mission it is to encourage the creation of image-burnishing original content?
Curation is King should come as no surprise coming from Rosenbaum, whose Magnify is a video publishing platform that just switched from a free to premium model. He’s not a fan of content farms but thinks there’s a difference between them.
“There’s organic, factory, and family farms. Some are proud to make as much content for as little money as possible, but that’s not a model I subscribe to. It destroys the business model for everyone else.”
That business model he’s talking about is content curation–and he cited Huffington Post and New York Magazine (one of his clients) as exemplars. “There’s no aesthetic difference on these sites between original content and aggregated content” he says. “There’s both editorial and technology, it’s not automated,” and the experience is seamless. He thinks that people go to sites like NYMag and expect a consistent aesthetic experience–it shouldn’t matter where the content comes from, but the guy who serves it up should get paid for providing that consistent experience. Hence curation.
And he thinks that this should give heart to newspapers.
“Smart newspapers will evolve–they’ll see how little they can create and be their own voice.” He remembers his time working at MTV and uses this as an example “They had three hours of programming a day and called themselves a network!” If newspapers could figure out a way to fill the “news hole” with user generated, aggregated, and original content, they’d stay in the game. The New York Times, with its move toward aggregated content and robust user comments section, might be figuring it out.
“I’m not writing anybody off.” We hope he’s right. Read Rosenbaum’s post today on BusinessInsider for more, and check out the video of his talk with Lawler: