Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

Curate This! We are the Network Now


My good friend Steve Rosenbaum released his new book, “Curate This,” to help us learn the ins and outs content curation. This is his second book and also the second time I’ve had the privilege to write his foreword. In fact, this time around, I wrote two. I’d like to share the first with you here. I’m sure I’ll publish the second at some point in the near future.

I’ve known Steve Rosenbaum since the mid 2000s. We’ve worked together and over the years, we’ve grown to become great friends. Before we met in the real world however, I was also a fan of Steve and his work at on MTV News: Unfiltered in the mid 1990s. Little did I know that this person whose work on a show that had a profound impact on me would become someone whom I would continue to admire and respect as his work continued to challenge convention and pioneer new fronts.

Curate This! We are the Network Now

MTV News: Unfiltered wasn’t an ordinary news program. It was crowd-sourced, where everyday kids and young adults would curate the news based on what was important to them. It was my first real foray into the world of user-generated content. As producer and creator of the show, Steve was essentially a master curator of content and exceptional programming. Arming the MTV generation with cameras and a voice, we were introduced into world that didn’t receive popular airplay as told by people who would have their 15 minutes of fame. All of this was well before YouTube and all of the social media we take for granted today.

Steve figured out that if you open the doors to people and what’s interesting to them without influence of what mainstream media fed us, he could not only inform us in new ways but also build vibrant communities around people and curated, interest-driven content. This premise would influence my work in media and research.

Steve’s vision and subsequent work with Magnify and now Waywire with Corey Booker would also shape a new wave of technology startups, platforms and media channels. These new technologies would eventually empower everyday experts to create and curate content for networked audiences around the world. More so, content too would evolve in ways where viewing or consumption was no longer enough. Networked audiences too would become part of the story in how they shared, remixed or reacted to the content of others. Impressions used to be a big deal, but its no longer enough. That’s for yesterday’s programming. Now it’s all about impressions that transform into expressions and how and what people say and share in response to what they find fascinating, though provoking or simply entertaining.

That’s the power of the human network and it represents the future of curation, broadcast, connections and media at large.

By the people for the people…

The art of curation combined with social media, its partner in enablement, allows for content to travel to and also through people bringing to life a human broadcast network. This vibrant and highly efficient distribution channel is powering a new era of consumption, dissemination and engagement around relevant information and the communities that form as a result.

In our own way, we are each now programmers of our own digital channels. Our audiences are the people to whom we’re connected and those who are connected to us. Our communities are defined by what we share and what they share and how we interact respectively. We are what we see and hear. We are what we say and don’t say. We are watch we share. We are the network.

That’s pretty amazing when you stop and think about it.

Now…go curate this!

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