We’re now at a point where curators rule the content world, by collectively deciding whether content gets amplified or lost. As a result, quality of content is again starting to win out over quantity, with an assist from smarter search algorithms and the death of content farms. As power continues to shift to the curators, great long-form content continues to increase in value, as it’s shared and consumed by more and more people. Today, one exceptional, widely shared essay is far more valuable than a thousand disparate tweets.
The “better filters” conversation is an important one. But I don’t think it’s just about algorithms. At the end of the day, while the technology can help us aggregate potentially relevant and interesting content and information, if we don’t have the “curation” skills to make sense of it for ourselves, it doesn’t really matter much.
And, while curation may mark the return of the long form essay, just because it’s shared doesn’t mean it will get read. There is still a lot more work and thinking to do about how to cultivate reading and writing habits in ourselves and in our children that reflect the opportunities and challenges of this writing-rich moment.
Like…now that our kids have access to an authentic audience, why don’t we give them all sorts of opportunities to write about the things THEY care about in ways that have a real purpose and meaning in the world. Becoming a great writer starts with developing a passion for writing, something we too often extinguish in schools.