I feel like I am spending more and more time each day trying to keep up with the flow of information. We each have our unique methods and idiosyncrasies for going about identifying and consuming data we find relevant. And for some it feels like a science; a proven method that for the most part has served well - until now.
With the increasing availability of mobile tablets, a flourish of apps have arrived to help us better navigate the information flow. These apps can be divided into two categories: Aggregators and Curators. While the sources for information are really the same (i.e. people), the number of sources have skyrocketed due to the access of tools for connectivity (i.e. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook; just to name a few that matter most!). Content aggregators and curators are establishing a new layer between the sources and consumers. It’s worth noting their differences.
1) Content aggregators are apps that allow the user to identify the desired content. These tools usually make suggestions and even report on what’s trending and most popular, but in the end it aggregates the content that you preselect on your behalf (e.g. Pulse, Flipboard, etc).
2) Content curators on the other hand are very similar, however they insert a layer of editorial. The app works on your behalf to identify, collect, and distribute content based around a niche or area of interest. In fact, the curator app is operates solely to further information in a specific area of interest or industry. (e.g. InsideLine, TeamStream, etc)
For both methods of delivering content, at their core it remains all about storytelling; and of course timing and relevance is what determines traction of the information. The objective of these apps is to minimize the requirement of the end-user.
These apps have built upon an idea that someone somewhere always cares - and yet has choices as to how to connect with information. Truth be told, how we choose to connect will determine a lot about our ability to thrive (and succeed) in our specific areas of interest (or expertise).
Anymore, we realize information is seldom a mystery, or difficult to find for that matter. The challenge is figuring out a way for information to come to you; thus minimizing the energy required to go find it. Do this and you will potentially recoup significant time in your day.