We’re All Content Creators, So How Do We Curate It All?

October 15, 2014 by Dave Haynes


We’re all content creators now, and we’re all producing content in some form that could, in theory, find its way on to digital screens.

We take photos and shoot videos with our phones, and post them to social channels. We make snarky comments and tweet them.  Most of it should stay where it is, but there are gems in there that people produce, that are arguably more interesting and relevant to people than what comes from subscription feeds – which are necessarily broad in focus to serve many audiences and customers.

Preset has worked with a couple of shopping mall groups and we’ve talked with them about the notion of using all the great content generated by shoppers – particularly young women – who will Tweet and Instagram and Facebook and Youtube and Pin the stories of what they saw and what they bought. In a mall, selfies of young women giddily showing off the purses they just scored are going to be a lot more relevant than headlines about the International Monetary Fund.

But here’s the thing. It’s hard work to stay on top of that stuff. Lots of digital signage software companies have tools that will prettily show tweets and pix, but few have particularly robust tools to moderate the “streams” of content. End-users find out quickly if they just leave open hashtags for, let’s say, their mall name, all kinds of other stuff will show up in the stream and on screens.

When three 17-year-old boys discover they can put pretty much anything up on big screens just by adding a certain hash tag, they’re going to go to town just for the pure giggle factor.

All that stated, there’s a new set of software services emerging that provide the sorts of tools needed to find, manage and properly use social media content. It’s predictably more skewed to desktops, tablets and smartphones, but the relevance to screen networks is pretty obvious.

Companies like Thismoment, Chute and Percolate have tools that will collect, aggregate, sort and clear the rights for social media content, so it can be repackaged and used by brands and media.

“If you imagine three years in the future, everyone’s going to have, I believe, a platform to ingest and clear rights and organize and distribute user generated content on their overall marketing architecture,” says Thismoment founder and CEO Vince Broady, in a TechCrunch interview. “Specifically on an enterprise level, you don’t have to limit yourself … to a specific use case as the ultimate goal.”

Going back to the shopping mall model, or things like tourism/visitor centres, think about what could be done if there were tools to make sense of the steady stream (or torrent) of content generated by smartphones and other devices, and select the best of it, knowing the thorny, fuzzy stuff like rights approvals was already out of the way.

Right now, it’s a case of watching streams and monitoring hashtags and manually re-purposing posts and pix, in many cases without any real clarity on what’s subject to rights approvals.

User-generated content is no cheap replacement for proper content, but it should at minimum be considered part of the mix. And it looks like tools are emerging to make that more feasible.

  1. Hao Le says:

    Hi Dave,

    Great article! Interacting with these user-generated contents using Content Interface’s iZoom technology would be interesting don’t you think? Here are two examples of browsing social media content: Pinterest photos and Youtube videos both for Coca-Cola:



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