Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another 2012 Prediction (You Won’t Like It)

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 got born in 2011. 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 any enewsletter -- 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 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 professions of "virtual assistant" (not kidding)."

But that was just a stab in the dark. The real 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 the tsunami, 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.

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 "curation" will be invaluable here, but aggregation is headed for the landfill.

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

No comments: