Another 2012 Prediction (You Won’t Like It)
By Nancy Scott on October 6th, 2011
Luxuriate in the Fresh Air of a Wholesale Dump! Take in the Aroma of Original Content. Ahhhhh!
Yes, my friends, I’m talking about the murder of “content aggregation.” It’s an early demise, I know, since aggregation just went mainstream about two years ago.. But, if I have anything to say about it, “content aggregation” is going to wither and die in 2012. For somebody who’s done a fair amount of “aggregation” this year, the prediction hurts. But it’s inevitable.
Why? Because we Can’t HANDLE it.
When Chris Brogan began unfriending people left and right in March, he called it getting rid of a mess.
Margie Clayman, too, is wondering if smaller social media might not be better social media.
The real issue, though, isn’t what you call it, or even how you do it. The nugget here is the sense of panic human beings are grappling with under the information tsunami. And “aggregation,” which has the potential for exponential repeat, retweet, rehash, and regurgitate, has got to go.
A Case In Point
I got a brilliant e-newsletter from Brad and Steve at bscopes. I don’t know why I read it– I am way too busy to read most enewsletters — except that it used the phrase “RSS bankruptcy” in the first sentence, and alluded in the second paragraph to feeling a tremendous sense of relief at wholesale dumping of articles collecting dust in the reader.
I had to write to bscopes. “I don’t think I’ve received your email before,” I told them. “I tend to throw stuff out, but this post caught my eye and I read it all the way through. You’re right, information-choke is a HUGE problem and the ‘just throw it away”‘ process doesn’t work. I think part of it starts with a better email client coupled with, perhaps, the growing profession of “virtual assistants” who can filter our inboxes for us.”
But that was just my stab-in-the-dark idea to cope. A better solution lies with Brogan: Just turn it off.
Why Are Human Beings Reacting This Way?
Amid the “anxiety of not knowing” [something, everything, more, enough!], we find ourselves facing the reality that there is no way to know enough. Suddenly, this year, in 2011, as we drowned in an epic information flood, we realized everything we don’t know. Fact is, we’ve never known… it’s just that we didn’t know we didn’t know (if you know what I mean).
There’s more. The more we delve into a topic, the more anxious we become about not knowing.
Well, how about crowd-sourcing, then? Can’t these other people tell us what to eat, think, feel, buy? No, because as soon as we start listening to crowd-sourced comments, we realize all that opinion is worth the paper it’s written on. There’s just too much of it and nobody agrees anyway.
Instead, when we need to know, proactive researching is our best option. Sure, we’ll come across a lot of junk. And, if we think it’s all relevant, we’re a dead duck. So, we’re going to need to use our own judgment.
Fact, is there’s no easy way “to know.” With information, as with everything else in life, less is more. I do believe that in 2012 many many of us will start by simply “turning it off” and then rebuilding: consciously, purposefully, intelligently. The skill of content curation will be invaluable here, but aggregation is likely headed for the landfill.