Platforms that changed content creation and curation
Looking back, I think I will remember 2011 as the year when everyone and his dog decided to launch a social platform of sorts: Google+, Quora, Empire Avenue, Path, Unthink, etc. Even before the newness of each network could wear off, another Facebook wannabe platform was launched. Of course, amid all launches and constant releases of growth numbers, there were a few social platforms that actually added value to users’ lives instead of just adding features. For me those few platforms are Percolate, Storify and Cowbird.
Percolate is a content-discovery/content-curation tool that is a great filter for everyone who complains how difficult and overwhelming it is to keep up with everything shared online. Percolate surfaces interesting and relevant content from a user’s online networks and presents it in an easy to use dashboard and a daily e-mail with just the most relevant links. Not only is Percolate a great tool for everyday users, but it can be a powerful social platform for brands as well. We keep telling brands to participate in communities, join conversations and share relevant content and Percolate makes it extremely easy to find what the communities with which a brand wants to engage are interested in. Counterparties (by Reuters) and Healthymagination (by GE) are two examples of how brands can use Percolate.
While Percolate is a great content-discovery tool, Storify (technically launched in 2010) is a great curation tool. The platform operates under the belief that real news unfolds on the web and Storify gives us the tools to capture, share and remember these stories. It allows users and brands to turn curated social content (tweets, photos, videos, links) into coherent stories and share these stories with a single link or embed them on a site. First to adopt the platform have been media outlets like The Guardian, but even the White House has joined.
The last platform that has the potential to change how we create, curate and consume content online is Cowbird, a collaborative storytelling platform launched earlier this month by Jonathan Harris (the artist who created We Feel Fine in 2006). Its purpose is to empower all of us to document the overarching “sagas” that shape the world today (think the London riots, Occupy Wall Street, etc.), or just create a beautiful audio-visual diary of your life. As explained on Cowbird’s site:
“Our short-term goal is to pioneer a new form of participatory journalism, grounded in the simple human stories behind major news events and universal themes. Our long-term goal is to build a public library of human experience, so the knowledge and wisdom we accumulate as individuals may live on as part of the commons, available for this and future generations to look to for guidance.”
Powerful stuff from a platform that could easily win the award for the strangest name of 2011.
What makes these social platforms incredible is that they add value to our lives and allow us to collaborate and share with people with similar interests and passions. They make creating, curating, documenting and sharing an enjoyable participatory experience for both users and brands.
What were your favorite social platforms in 2011?