The Internet is doubling like every five minutes. Or something like that. And people are starting new blogs about a billion times a day. It’s crazy*.
We’ve always relied on content curators to help us weed through the crap to get to the good stuff. It’s why we have newspapers. And radio stations. And magazines. And cable companies.
But these entities were all flawed because they rely on one entity (a radio station, for example) to decide what everyone should listen to, at the same time. The digital world has allowed us to rely less on this type of model and more on music coming to us based on our likes and preferences and those of our friends. Today we have Pandora and iTunes and Spotify to help us find the best music. All of these attempt to determine what we individually will enjoy listening to.
Until last year, I’d argue that we really haven’t had a great way to help us curate “content” on the web. We used to have portals like Yahoo that aggregated the content for us. We actually still have those, but they have become less relevant as social has emerged. Because now, we can allow our friends and connections to help us find the best content.
And that’s why we’re seeing sites like Pinterest (link to me on Pinterest) and apps like Flipboard gaining such momentum. Pinterest is now the fastest growing website of all time. Of all time. That’s like, since forever.
I talked about Pinterest last month in the context of this new wave of smaller sites and networks popping up. Everyone seems to be trying to figure out what to make of this site. We at Engauge just put out a very thorough Point of View on Pinterest (though I’m highly biased, I think you should read it ;)
And Flipboard is one of the iPad apps I can’t live without. It essentially lets you create your own magazine with content you enjoy, not what the magazine decided you needed to read that month. It’s phenomenal. And its spurring a bunch of similar apps, including News.Me which I downloaded last week and like a lot.
The point is, I think we’re only seeing the beginning of a huge wave of focused, content curated websites and apps. And people are going to flock to them as a means of making sense of all the wonderful chaos that the Internet affords us.
Tangent thought: I can’t help but notice that Facebook is trying extremely hard to monetize its traffic, as it should. But if Facebook doesn’t keep most of its focus on finding ways to make the experience of using their site more and more relevant, its going to continue to lose eyeballs to these new content curators.
* My facts may be a little off, but they’re 90% accurate. Or .90%. Or something.