Check your Pulse #55
We are living through the emergence of a new business category that doesn’t even have a name yet, but which I believe will become an important part of our digital lives: online communities at the intersection of content curation and knowledge management.
- Our brains are not equipped to deal with this abundance. (data/information)
- increasingly, we will pay people with good taste to help us sort through the ever-growing mass of information.
- We seem to have forgotten that the goal is not to consume more information. The goal is to think better, so we can achieve our goals.
- Three problems unsolved
Our feed-based information architecture is obsessed with the present.
- the list of links model is subject to the same accidental property of social media; ephemerality.
- Without an information architecture that supports a longer shelf life for content, we will continue to accumulate mental and behavioral debt.
- I still remember when a Google search led to discovering personal blogs and hidden gems instead of results manufactured by SEO experts.
- In short, the architecture of digital platforms has made us obsessive documenters and consumers of the present, yet largely indifferent to the archives we create.
We consume information recreationally, not as a way to achieve our goals
- On Twitter, nothing has to be remembered, studied, applied, or reflected on. It’s an environment that promotes distracted thinking and superficial learning.
- We don’t need to read a long write-up on Figma’s winning strategy when it hits our inbox, but we should be able to reference it if we’re building a company in the design tools space.
- With our current tools, the burden of memory is left to the individual.
Curation has been too focused on the information and not enough on architecture; how we collect, store, augment, and utilize what’s already in our minds
- While technology successfully disrupted content production, the experience of consuming content remains unchanged – the words have merely moved from a printed page to a screen.
- The Internet offers us the first major opportunity to introduce new, digitally-native information architectures that improve our understanding of the world through added context and relation.
- what’s interesting is how these categories are remixing into new combinations of content, community, and software.
- Knowledge management: Instead of being a destination for reading content, these tools help people organize information.
- The intersection of curation and knowledge management is inhabited by utility tools like CB Insights – destinations for both reading content and organizing information. Their biggest miss is that they still function as hierarchies and have not tapped into the power of networked information and crowdsourced knowledge
- On the community side, we’re witnessing a shift towards a post-social media era defined by niche, gated communities of interest and purpose.
- Some content creators are blending curation and community to inhabit a space I call: new media.
I’m of the belief that “Come for the Content, Stay for the Community” will be one of the dominating themes for media this decade. As more creators break away from companies to go subscription indie, they’ll find it to be an effective and rewarding strategy to think of ways to build ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ experiences.
- Most of these communities exist inside Slack, Discord, Telegram, or some other tool. But given the chat-based nature of these platforms, it’s easy to miss the best content.
- Without bespoke tooling to preserve knowledge, these communities will struggle with the same challenges of their early social media predecessors.
- The intersection of community and knowledge management is inhabited by spaces like Genius, Stack Overflow, and other collectively maintained libraries. Wikipedia is the pinnacle example here, and remains one of the greatest wonders of the Internet age, proving the value of bespoke tooling and the feasibility of collaboration at scale.
The potential to build community-curated knowledge networks remains largely untapped. There are reasons to be optimistic; the economic feasibility of paid communities, a renewed interest in curation, a slow move away from big social, and an improved understanding of platform incentives. All combined, this will lead to communities that are more sustainable, aligned, and intentional.
The intersection of content curation, knowledge management, and community. 👀 this space.
Caught my attention
- “My Octopus Teacher” on Netflix: how anyone can create something extraordinary just by showing up everyday
- Book: Awareness: “We see people and things not as they are, but as we are”