Our Curated Lives

Like it or not, our lives are curated. Yet some businesses believe they must rely only on content they’ve created themselves.

Walking down the aisles of my local supermarket the other day, it occurred to me that when it comes to groceries, the grocer plays a role similar to Google. In the grocery store, it is all about shelf placement – the prime middle spaces on the shelves are more likely to attract buyers than the bottom shelves. And the grocer demands extra merchandising fees for this prime real estate. In Google’s case, prime placement is at the top of the search results – and getting on the top is determined by who pays Google the most through SEO or Google Adwords. Both require pay-to-play – one for groceries, the other for content – and both are curators who are influencing buyer behavior to optimize their businesses. Nothing wrong with that – it is free enterprise in the most basic form. But it is worth considering how fundamental curation is in our daily lives.

Curation is critical because we are faced with a virtually endless list of choices – whether for canned soup, toothpaste, video clips, or news reports. Someone – or something – must put order in this chaos, whether it is your supermarket’s merchandising manager or Google’s content placement algorithms. Consider a museum, where a curator decides which small fraction of the museum’s countless artifacts will be displayed for public viewing. Or the librarian, deciding which of the millions of books in print will occupy the library’s precious shelf space. Often the curation comes with annotation – in the museum, annotation is obvious, as the staff goes to great lengths to explain why the pieces that they have chosen to display is important. Or the local book store, where often we see hand-written “staff picks,” intended to help the buyer purchase the right book.

Considering how fundamental curation and curators are in our daily lives, I find it curious that many businesses or brands insist on using only original content in communicating the intended messages to their prospective customers or constituents. This would be analogous to an art museum displaying only pieces that the museum contracted to have painted or sculpted. Not only would this lack variety, and make for a pretty boring viewer experience, but the museum would lack credibility, being seen as parochial and biased in displaying only the works they commissioned. As consumers, individual and business buyers want sufficent education to make the right choices. We want to believe that those we are buying from are the experts in their fields – the authority – but also that they are unbiased at some level. And to be unbiased, a business needs to supplement their own original content with respected third-party content – whether that third party content is Campbell’s soup as an alternative to the in-house brand – or a third party content in the form of a blog or research report relevant to a specific brand or product.

But as noted above, given these vast oceans of content we all swim in every day, how is a brand or business able to sift through all the noise and uncover third-party content that is truly relevant to the products they are promoting? Trying to find it by searching is futile, for as noted above, Google will find what makes Google the most money – which is not necessarily the content you want. And while social networks offer some spontaneity and serendipity, most of this content is recycled/re-tweeted, or re-posted from the same sources, creating a digital-social-content echo chamber. And when unique or interesting content does fly across the Twitter feed, you’d better be there – for this information is ephemeral, with Twitter information half-lives measured in minutes.

So, no surprise, Trapit offers an answer. Trapit will do the heavy lifting, tapping into massive streams of real-time information, grabbing the pieces that are relevant to your business or product, to your brand or your people. It serves up this content in an easily consumable display, allowing you or your team to continue the curation process Trapit has started by providing features to allow the section of media types (text, video, or both and, coming soon, audio content). Trapit allows curation capabilities like modifying the title, summary, or photo in the content synopsis, or adding your own value through annotation of the piece. And once you’ve decided which content is ready to publish alongside your original material, Trapit provides the widest variety of distribution endpoints – be it your web site, mini-site, social networks, mobile devices, or select applications. Trapit even offers a custom-branded iPad application as the vehicle to reach your constituents with the right content at the right time. And then Trapit proves the analytical capability that allows you to see which of your content is working – and that which is not.

In short, we live in a world of near constant curation. Trapit gives your business the power to curate – the tools you need to effectively and efficiently discover, curate, and distribute credible information that will help influence your audience while building your reputation as the authority in your field. Curate with Trapit and don’t worry about paying for prime placement…you will stand out through the delivery of compelling content that captures the hearts and minds of your audience.

– Gary

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