Gutenberg’s invention opened the doors to publishing, but the necessary and sufficient conditions for printing papers weren’t eradicated. If you have something to say, you still have to run around, gather information and pen your thoughts in a knowledgeable and interesting way. And I’m not even going to talk about photos.
In the same way, internet technologies opened the borders of expression online, but “free publishers” are not exempt from the responsibility of creating interesting content. You have to
a. have something interesting to say,
b. be able to formulate what you have to say in an intelligent manner,
c. be able to package and serve what you have to say in a tasteful way, and
d. have your own style.
To have a blog has become fashionable, or, as they say, contemporary. But the number of new blogs grows parallel to the number of abandoned blogs. Technically speaking, it’s easy to choose a convenient blog platform and register a blog; however, keeping that blog alive is more difficult. Maintaining a blog requires daily work by the blogger: shaping the blog, choosing topics, writing, maintaining contact with readers. This too is the reason why many move from blog platforms to social networking sites — particularly, Facebook.
During social media workshops at Internews Media Support NGO, I’ve noticed that for those wishing to start a blog, the hardest part is writing interesting and intelligent content. People like taking photos; even filming and editing video. For many, filming or taking photographs comes easy. But not everyone can acquire the skill to write (I’m not even speaking of sentence structure and spelling errors left over from school years).
Over time internet technologies also resolve the problem of those who have no writing skills to be able to express themselves. Let’s assume that someone is very knowledgeable about carpet weaving and wants to share his knowledge, but doesn’t have his own photographs or video and is unable to formulate his thoughts in writing. Coming to his rescue are new generation platforms, which are being billed as “curation.” The most well-known sites that offer curation are Storify.com, Scoop.it and Storyful.com.
What can you do on a site that offers curation of internet content? You can create a story, making use of the internet’s unlimited resources.
The “story” is created with the help of other articles, photos, video and tweets on your chosen topic. So the guy who wants to write about carpet weaving can gather from the internet material of interest to his readers and place it in his “story.” Those using these platforms to curate internet content are able to title their story, write text, and add text, in order to comment on their chosen photos and videos.
The finished “story” can then be shared through social networks.
Storify also allows you to move your story to your own blog or website, while Scoop.it always offers new stories to add to your chosen topic, for example, posts about carpet weaving, to enrich the material.
Websites working on the principle of curation solve the problems of those not having the journalistic skills of writing text and telling a story. By gathering different sources in one place, they enable you to tell a multimedia story, publish it then share it.
The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.