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3 years ago I wrote this short article titled 'Curator: The missing role on the Internet' I've also copied and pasted the text below. I believe it is still relevant today. https://medium.com/@jolon/curator-the-missing-role-on-the-internet-995e3dfee6c5
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I think this has to do with the nature of social media. Since everything is engineered around clicks and engagement, high quality curation is in direct conflict with the business model of social media. We are seeing a comeback of curation but in the form of email lists and Substack where the influence of the social media business models don’t apply.
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glauce replied:
I agree in full, reason for wishing for a "brand new business model", inspired by human interaction without interference from old psychological tricks and enticements. I think the nature of social media can change if we give it a chance to develop organically.
As an artist, I find curators invaluable, their work add distinct and unexpected flavours to your own work, as well as to familiar works of art you may view from new perspectives. I would love to see this magic across various subjects. Good curation is definitely worthy of reward and I think could inspire a brand new business model, where quality would always end up as winner. This post is great reading, thank you!
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Yours.org did something right here on incentivising curation I feel. Early upvotes got a revenue % share in later upvotes. So those who sought out excellent content first would be rewarded.
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1 year ago
911 replied:
The problem with that is that everyone wanted to always be the first person to upvote so someone built a bot that would automatically upvote whenever certain people (celebs) posted.
liam replied:
Oh that's interesting@911, I didn't know that. Yes I suppose that can also be easily gamed.
Thanks for sharing. I definitely see the value of curators and agree a lot of value is not captured. The DJ analogy is apt, because if we use the analogy to think about things it's easier to come up with a design for such a system on bitcoin (or even other systems such as referral programs like@tonicpow ). DJs come with reputation, and it's important that they retain their reputation. If a famous DJ started playing all kinds of songs just because it makes them money, they will quickly lose their reputation and nobody will listen to their station (followership). And their station will lose money. In fact this is a big deal in any curation industry. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payola This is why I am trying to keep it simple for now. I think these business models should be implemented as the system reaches scale, and should not be used as a means to reach scale, because it can easily compromise the integrity of the network. That said, it's all about experiment, so I will probably experiment with different approaches along the way in a "popup" fashion.
jolon replied:
I agree with your concept of not using business models to reach scale, great point! Rewarding the curator is not as straight forward as it may seem. In the music playlist example, what happens if someone else just copies and shares the same playlist? For a feed like PowPing, what if you are linking to someone that you don't agree with and hence are just linking to reference the post but don't want to share revenue with? So coming up with good solutions could be complex and require a lot of experimentation. I actually think there could be a lot of IP that could be generated in the area. Also the curator requires creators first, so I imagine this is something that can be added later on when the platform is more established.
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unwriter replied:
> For a feed like PowPing, what if you are linking to someone that you don't agree with and hence are just linking to reference the post but don't want to share revenue with? This is a great point and will be high priority when designing this. I dislike how "retweet with comments" is often used for attacking instead of endorsing. I believe this is the type of problem that can potentially be solved through incentive.
From the article: Throughout history the curator has performed an important role in making the best content available for human consumption. A newspaper or magazine editor will select the most suitable writers, decide on topics for editions, edit articles, and even write their own commentary. Editors have a highly esteemed role. Growing up in the 80s and 90s it would largely be the radio DJ which would determine what music we listen to. The radio would be how we would discover good music. If the music isn’t good we would switch off. It was in the curator’s best interests to find the best music available. Curators were respected and rewarded accordingly. In the modern era of the internet, the role of the curator has largely disappeared. We are inundated with a deluge of content of mixed quality. Generally the lowest common denominator rises to the top and quality suffers. Witness YouTube’s ‘Trending’ tab for an example any time of the day. The Solution Recently artists are beginning to be rewarded for their content, whether that is through ad monetisation, streaming payments, or direct payments (e.g. through Patreon). However, content providers haven’t provided a role for the curator. Streaming music services like Spotify need to allow curators to create and share playlists. If someone listens to that playlist the curator should receive a small payment (similar to the artist). It must be possible for the curator to make a decent living, even become very successful in their role as curator. Apple recognised this problem by attempting to create Radio stations. However this is a very narrow approach by employing only a small number of DJs to curate content. We must allow anyone to be a curator and let the market decide which are the best and reward them accordingly. By financially supporting and incentivising curators I predict that consumers will have access to much better content, and as a result it will encourage talented content creators to continue creating excellent content rather than get lost in the lowest common denominator.
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