Enter the Curator

It is believed that in the age of social media expertise is a rare commodity. Expertise comes from having a considered opinion that the world buys into. Today everyone has an opinion, and everyone can express them with ease. The consumer is becoming an expert and the experts are facing survival blues.
Is this really true? Consider this, a movie critic watches a movie and posts his review on his blog. The viewers who visit the blog add their comments on the review. The expert in this case does not have to wait long to figure out how his viewers are reacting to his reviews? The next time he writes the review, the existing feedback helps him to be sharper and more connected in his review
Now is this consumer generated content or expert generated media? The expert generated media obviously is far more interesting phenomenon than consumer generated media.
In case of the movie critic for example, the critic is not someone who has seen a few movies. More likely he or she lives movies, knows the process of making movies, and possibly has an insight on making movies more engaging. The dynamic feedback that the audience provides allows the expert to tell a more engaging tale.
Yes this is the world of collaborative co creation. Yet the collaborative co creation is not diminishing the value or role of expertise, it’s actually enhancing it. This is where the expert generated media has a role to play. This process is a curative process
Curation is a process that comes from the world of art museums, but is increasingly becoming important in the world of brands. Views, opinions, feedbacks etc are all chosen, sorted and organized by people who are experts equipped with necessary knowledge and experience. By leveraging the experience and knowledge the curaters can help brands connect better with its consumers.
Planners need to actively act as curaters to stay relevant in these changing times. The traditional ways of gathering consumer insights are outdated, and they rarely work. The planners can act as enhancers of consumer experiences by acting like a curator
Curation of opinions allows the experts to add more depth to the context. It allows the experts to step into their shoes, know their opinions, become more connected and be closer to the subject. It actually lets the expert even mold the opinion. That is truly what an expert would want to do. This is what a planner always has to do.
Experts curate and cull out best, clearest and the most thought provocating arguments. An average consumer will rarely want to read every opinion that is written about the subject. This is what a planner does constantly, sort and collect. Than cull out what matters and make it work for the brand.
Curation of opinion can shift the balance back to brands. In this collaborative world creating content is easy, but gathering and presenting is the real challenge. Consumers may value another consumers’ opinion more than advertising, but by no means is an average consumers’ opinion the final word. Therein lays the real opportunity. Planners are experts; they now need to be curative experts
Published in Brand Wagon, 9th November, 2010

2 thoughts on “Enter the Curator

  1. Just like ever before, knowledge and expertise has its value. It never became out dated. With the quantity of content increasing exponentially on the web, and everybody joining in the conversation – people are still looking for real, hardcore information – that can come only from the experts. And experts are getting even more powerful with advanced research tools in their hands and and greater number of readers and reviewers. Those who are able to swim in this tide of changing social media are able to sustain their advantage.

    Great article. I found your blog today through Facebook. I am gonna read the rest of the articles now!


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