Can we do evil while curating and practicing social media optimization?

Not everyone is an avid explorer of new media. Not only that a majority of internet users won’t give Second Life a try, they even won’t use Twitter. The fast moving streams of information or the immersive experiences in virtual environments are new experiences and it’s not always easy to convince people and communities that these new phenomena have value.

What helps a lot is curation: offering selections of sources, of information and providing context. As a journalist and blogger I use Storify, others will use Curated.by, Keepstream, Storyful or other services. Not only Storify helps me to make selections and add context, I can also embed the stories on blogs and sites so that people can read and comment in a familiar environment. I guess that embedding immersive environments will also help these more immersive media to gain more traction.

I’ve been experimenting with curation on my financial blog (Dutch language) for a few months and I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Xavier Damman, the co-founder of Storify.

Echoing what is an increasingly common refrain, Damman told me that everybody is a reporter now. Which means it’s the responsibility of journalists (and bloggers of course) to find the best content and turn it into a story, adding context and making sense of it all. He also talked about a related concept: social media optimization (SMO), which is all about sharing and connecting. But SMO of course is also related to search engine optimization (SEO) – which reminds me of certain evil aspects of all this ‘optimizing’.

More about all of this on my PBS MediaShift blog.

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About rolandlegrand

I'm a digital newsroom manager at Mediafin, the publisher of Belgium's leading business newspapers De Tijd and L'Echo. I have a special interest in the intersection of immersive media, business and philosophy.
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