We’ve discussed the need for new content aggregators and the rise of corporate curators, but at what point will the information selectors need their own filter system?
Applications like Summify, Flipboard and Google’s already-hyped Propeller cut the middleman out of the curation equation. By applying algorithms, these services determine which stories are most relevant to individual users. While not foolproof, the apps go a long way in preventing media fatigue by delivering bite-size samples of an information feast.
Conversely, Paper.li encourages users to inject a human element into the calculation and become publishers themselves. At first the idea is appealing: Handpick the stories and then share them with your audience. The fatal flaw of this system lies in its assumption that all users have an audience with whom to share their selected stories. Efforts to dodge information overload is leading to a surplus of curators, which brings us back to square one.
Rather than searching through mountains of stories, we might very well be sifting through an equally colossal amount of curators.
— Nicole Duncan