Look for ‘Curators Needed’ signs –clues to your next job?

“The web needs editors,” someone remarked quite aptly when TMI (the acronym for that modern syndrome, Too Much Information) was beginning to drive people nuts.

Today the web needs curators more than editors. Lots of them. Corporate feedback sites are sprouting all over the place, so,

  • Who’s gonna sift through the comment streams for good ideas?
  • Who will prioritize which complaints need to be responded to before it flames out in other places?
  • Who might be the next breed of Principal Investigators –sleuths, rather than project managers– who turn this data into reports? And I mean well-written, business-case reports?

You will! (Or someone in India, if you’re slow to find these opportunities.)

As I continue to write about and support crowd-sourcing and citizen journalism, I come across many hidden ‘help wanted’ signs for curators. Not in Craigslist, but buried deep in the comments of YouTube, Facebook, the 98 heated exchanges at the bottom of the New York Times article etc. The 200-plus tweets and re-tweets with a hash tag (especially the tag #FAIL).

Yeah, I know who has time to read through these? CEO’s do, that’s who. And they are wondering why their marketing and PR teams are not telling them about it, despite all the analytics money being spent. The trouble with analytics and algorithm-generated charts is that they don’t translate into action items. A Curator with the attitude of an analyst) who can also come up with ideas will be hugely valuable in my reading of this trend.

I just recorded a podcast for GreenNurture on what crowd sourcing as an internal communications app might look like, and serendipitously ran into this story by Marc Gunther. Truly timely piece on curated crowd-sourcing by by Genius Rocket. (Wonderful headline, too: “Why 13,956 heads are better than one.”)

Why do I think this is timely and huge? I’ll give you three clues:

1. Feedback sites are big: And there are attempts to tap customer sentiments: http://uservoice.com

2. Customers are talking back. take a look at Mills Advisory Panel –soliciting feedback for General Mills customers. My Starbucks Idea – a great site for tapping into marketing and product ideas. But who’s gonna take all those ideas if it is another company? Take this comment:

“I am a Canadian partner and I have experienced a lot of frustration, confusion and grief since the new teas have been unveiled. The biggest concern is the lack of consistent pricing for tea lattes….”

It goes on with too much detail, possibly revealing too much inside info that would make some VPs cringe.

3. Wikipedia is a back-channel: Lots of  ‘Curators’ Needed’ signs hanging out here. Noisy debates go on in the Talk Pages, and looking at these in your vertical will tip you off to other things.

You get the point. Everyone wants to listen to the customer but there are not enough people who can translate the conversations into actionable knowledge.

Sidebar: If you are interested,in why social media is so ready to gather front-line intelligence within a company, check this podcast I recorded with Derrick Mains recently.

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