Social media has taken the power of citizen journalism to another level with real-time posts, conversations, photos and video. As print news sources take on digital form, we are observing how the role of a journalist is evolving from being an on-site reporter; capturing news from the second it happens, to more of a curator. The everyday person with a smartphone is already out there recording or announcing news as it happens. Instead of rendering journalists obsolete, we see their value evolving into a trusted source that can put together the best, most credible news and filter out the junk that is constantly added to real-time feed.
Part of the value in social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and even Quora is that an individual’s experience is curated personally by the user. People don’t want to or have the time to read all the news. They want to read news that matters to them, which usually happens to be news from people they know, people in their industry and people with similar interests. Success lies in an engine that can deliver that information most effectively, but still give a window of opportunity to suggest new topics or people that could be of interest given the trends of a user’s actions on a platform.
We see news reporting heading in the direction of curated reporting. There are sites out there that are already beginning to curate content such as CROWS NEST, Sign Off and recently LinkedIn’s new feature, LinkedIn Today. CROWS NEST is a Twitter aggregator that uses a mix of Twitter, Topsy, Typekit, and jQuery to pull the top 10 URLs shared by ad/tech/design Twitter users. Sign Off is a site and email newsletter that delivers relevant news based on your city. LinkedIn Today curates news most relevant to your industry, pulling from the career information each user provides in a LinkedIn profile. While browsing through articles, a user is able to see who shared the article, where they are located, and what they said about it even if the person is not a connection or contact. LinkedIn Today demonstrates the beginning of new journalism where news is delivered based on the industry a person is in and the person’s interests. Due to this growing need of trusted curators, we see the trend of journalism headed for better standards as more advanced tools are built to filter good content. Instead of a team of reporters, we might see teams of curators being formed as the way news is delivered continues to grow more and more personalized. We see this trend as a beneficial mechanism in building audience platforms for our clients. As we continue developing social media strategies for branded initiatives, we’ll be looking into incorporating curated content as we build experiences to engage targeted audiences.