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The Age of Content: Creation & Curation

In World Drama class when I was in university, my teacher mentioned one theme while we were studying “Oedipus the King” (a classical Greek drama)

“Mankind always want to know” – That’s why Oedipus always has need, the need seek and know his true identity, and found out later that he killed his own father and married his own mother. That’s what I remember the class.

I always agree with that sentence.

Since past, human has one things that always happen in their mind. That is called “FEAR”. We always fear for something. And one of the most fear that people have is the fear of not knowing things. That’s why we spend most of our life to know what’s happen around us, so that we can feel safe.

Not just feel safe, we also feel confident or advance when we know more and more information. That’s why we want to know what happen in everyday no matter it may has effect to us or not. We want to make sure that we know updates about the world around us. And our daily life also generate more need of information; information about eating, exercise, sleeping, traveling, studying, working, etc. There are tons of information that we have been receiving, even when you are reading this blog.

From this basic and essential need, that’s why the news and media industry is a very big kingdom and generate massive revenue for companies. People are addicted to consume content from media, which inform, educate or entertain them. In past, we may used to media industry in a platform of radio, printing (newspaper, magazine) or TV. These media become traditional media that almost everyone has to subscribe their information’s distribution. We used to tune our radio to listen our favorite song, or our favorite DJ’s talk. We waited at 6pm, in front of TV, to watch our favorite program. We buy magazine to read our favorite column. This cycle become our daily life, and also the content industry – at that  time. Media owner has the power to communicate with people. They have power to create the content and distribute through their channel, in order to reach people. The people, we, make a subscription-like behavior with these media, as they are our only option.

However, the digital technology has changed the whole world into another era, which may turn around the industry and also people’s life, but still base on the same basic need.

As we may know, digital technology – especially Internet – has changed the way we communicate with others. It’s a new world where we can create our own content as much as we want, and could be found by others. We can be linked with people from where we may not know, and also find others in the same time. This borderless land becomes a very big space, which provides great opportunities for people to express themselves, in various types of content’s format. We have seen tons of blogging happen in every minute. More and more facebook and twitter accounts are registered everyday. Video clips are uploaded to YouTube while photos are taken and upload to Instagram. People now can share their own content by themselves, and yes, they also has their own subscriber too.

We are now living in an age of revolution, a content revolution. People now shift from just being a content subscriber and become content creator. While the old creator still doing their role, the new creators are now catching the old one. While newspaper has their limit – number of pages, and TV has their limit time. Blog has no limit space for user to express their words. YouTube has no limit for clips and channels. We can upload as many photos as we want to facebook, tweet many words as we think in Twitter. People now become big content creators, which create more searchable content than the old creator.

What’s an interesting part of this phenomenon is that we are now spend time more and more to received content through digital channel instead of traditional media, as we used to. From many stat and research, we can see a big jump of Internet usage. We can sense that people are now exploring more content through this borderless world instead of just waiting to be served by traditional media. Companies and brand may always use budget to buy media (buy reach) for their content. But the new challenge is that how they can capture people’s eye in digital world, which they cannot control.

Moreover, in the era that user’s generate content in increasing rapidly, the effect of massive content will happen very soon. Although there will be limitless of space for creating content, both users and companies, but time always has it limit. And when one has meet their limit, the rest that could not pass the line will be rejected and ignored.

This situation is a nightmare for business that used to think that they have power to reach and go into consumer’s mind. How can they sneak into a user’s content stream which they can now has power to select which content to be subscribe, instead of subscribing the media like in past. This will be a big challenge for media and advertising from now on.

Somehow, there’s also a new opportunity from this too. When there are massive of contents, it comes the question from ordinary people that how they can find the right content or value content. And that’s come the curator.

Curator may be the term in museum industry for a long time – but will be more a more used very soon. The role of the curator is not creating the collections, but they are specialist for curate the collections and make the exhibitions look attractive for visitors.

This concept will be now adapted to new world. The big opportunity for the curator is that they don’t have to own or create the content in order to get a lot of visitor / subscriber. But they must have their uniqueness / taste to collect valuable contents which are flown in digital stream, get packed, arranged, and attracted to targeted audience. We can start to see this type of actions in many facebook pages that have no reporter, no writer, no photographer, but they are very good at collecting and sharing “themed content”. While people know that there are a lot of content out there and they may not able to find them all, they may want to rely on curators, who spend their time to select the best content and published to ordinary user. These curators will start to increase their subscribers from this cycle.

The curator and the curated content concept will have an importance role in near future, as our content consuming’s behavior start to changes from digital revolution. This is also a big opportunity for both people and business who want to capture the digital content world. Business can also adapt this concept into their digital channels. Make the brand become the curator of something and make the people subscribe to the brand, and that can create relationship between user and brand like many gurus always mention in social media theory.

The world has changed, it always has. We are also living in the era that has big changes. Somehow, the need of information in every of us still exist, as it always. This need create a lot of phenomenon since the past, and it also will create again in a near future. If we want to survive from this change, we also need to change. The eruption of content industry may shock expert and professionals in industries, but we can’t just sit and see. We need to move forward and prepare for handling it. And that’s how can we rewrite our future.



Nuttaputch Wongreanthong

An experienced marketer with a passion for understanding and exploring the latest trends

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