Writer Linton Weeks of National Public Radio recently authored a column entitled “Media Black Hole: So Much News That We'll Implode?” in which Weeks examined whether the wealth of information was actually causing consumers to become less informed.
To help readers comb through the massive flow of information, content curators have cropped up all over the political map, among the most influential the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post. Popular regional curators such as FlashReport in California provide a valuable source of information to politicos in their respective areas. By aggregating compelling news stories and information, knowing their audience and then curating only the most relevant stories, such web sites have become key influencers in policy debates. After all, politicians and their staff make decisions based upon the information they consume and what they perceive as the hottest topics.
Crowd sourcing is the grassroots version of content curating. Using their “Share” button on Facebook, any individual can determine what stories are important for others to read.
Steven Rosenbaum, the author of Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers Are Creators, explains the power of individual content curators in the age of information overload: "The world of curation will have lots of brand-name, well-known curators you know and trust. The new media moguls won't be makers, they'll be finders, endorsers and presenters."
Like web site content curators and media outlets, elected representatives are seen by the public as disseminators of important information. But few politicians have the time or resources to work full time scouring the news for relevant information or keeping track of every Internet mention about key policy topics, or respond to constituents’ needs via social media.
Since necessity is the mother of invention, several new technology tools have been developed to meet this new need. Content curation software StoryCrawler is fast becoming an all-in-one tool for businesses and elected officials.
“The idea of StoryCrawler is simple,” explains CEO Denny Dansereau. “We recognized that information consumers were struggling with taking in all this information on the Internet, processing it and using it. Our software allows users to track topics of interest across the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc. They can select, order, and add their own commentary to create personally curated content relevant to their needs and their audience. The results can then be shared across multiple platforms such as blogs, social media sites, smart phone apps, and e-newsletters.”