Problems With Content Curation Tools

Content, content and more content. People consuming more information nowadays than ever before. Every day the web is flooding with new and interesting content waiting to be consumed, shared and remixed. But how can we reach it in a rational and fruitful way?

There are many tools/services nowadays trying to solve this content overload problem, but none of them makes me happy. I still have to do all the searching for new and good content sources and filtering the content I get. Separating the crap from the awesome. All by myself. This is hard work and very time consuming, and I still feel that It could be automated in most part and save me precious hours of my everyday life.

Where’s the content?

We can’t even list (Robin Good tried) the quantity of platforms made with content creation in mind. Since blogs, forums, help pages and social networks everyone can tell about what they know and show it to the world. One great example is Quora that is disrupting the way people ask and answer questions about everything. There you can find almost anything you want to know and answers by very qualified people.

Another very well-known example is Facebook where people share everything: from personal photos to opinions and thoughts about almost any existing topic.

People are already grouping this information in multiple ways to make it easier to filter what they want to read from what they don’t. We have hashtags for social media, categories for blogs and keywords for writing and searching content. But in the time I’m writing this post, people posted on Twitter over 4000 tweets with the hashtag #design. This means that probably 90% of this tweets will never be read, no matter if they are good or bad. We just don’t have the time to read them all. And the filtering made is absolutely random: who we follow, what time we open twitter if we did any search with this tag, etc..

So…

How can we reach and filter all this interesting content from all around the web?

Google it? Google isn’t enough because not everyone who writes blog posts have good SEO and let’s be honest, how many of you go to the second page when doing a google search? We all know that the first three results are the furthest that web users will go and this means that all the content below will never be read, although this doesn’t mean that it’s bad content. Another issue is that in Google you have to search every day if you want to read new articles and news about something.

What’s the problem with RSS feeds readers and other content curation tools?

Most of the content curation tools search only in a closed list of sources or force you to add your own sources. But what about all the other content, from other sources that you don’t know floating around the web?

You have to manually add all the sources

It’s impossible to know all the most relevant content sources on the web. Every day, thousands of new blogs are created and are delivering interesting, fun and useful content to their readers. Feedly, for example, does a nice job showing me related blogs, and many other apps try to catch my interest from Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. But I still feel that I have too much work, either evaluating the quality of the new sources or discarding many “interests” that doesn’t match with what I really want to read.

They gather content from a closed list of sources

This is why you will rarely get content from new and unknown sources that could interest you and your audience.

There’s no quality or keyword filtering

In most feed readers, you have to go through all the content of your feeds without many options to filter it. Imagine this case scenario:

I add the Fast Company blog to my RSS feeds reader or content curation tool, but I only want to read their posts about Graphic Design. I have no way to do this, but to go through the many posts they publish every day and filter it myself. This is very time-consuming and I’m talking about only one blog. I have almost 80 sources in my Feedly account. That results in thousands of unread articles that stay there, making me frustrated because I can’t read them all.

Some of them ignore social networks and other social platforms

Tools like TweetDeck and Hootsuite allows me to filter Twitter and other social networks by hashtags or other search parameters, but I still have to keep reading all the posts because none of these services can filter them by quality or relevance.. Many scrolls between interesting link and interesting link. And so many repeated links about one single famous article!

What these tools should do that they aren’t doing yet?

How curation services could be more efficient?

I’m sure that the answer isn’t easy, but I can at least tell you how these products could make me happier and save me so many hours on searching and filtering. How my dream newsreader / content curation tool should be?

I want to open my computer by the morning and get up and have the best updates:

I want to see how my industry is going and what news came up about: new apps, services and trends. I’m a UI/UX designer who works with multiple tools like Photoshop, Sketch, InvisionApp and many others, so I want to keep in touch with these brands and see if they or someone else released any new features or tricks. This could be news, freebies, plugins, tips, blogs posts, videos, gifs, and lots of other types of content.

Because I’m a professional who also needs to build a good online reputation, or personal brand, if you prefer. I also want to see how things are going on my social networks. Were there any interactions with me? Was there anything interesting for me to interact with? Are there any new people that shares my interests that I could start following? What can I share with my audience to increase my engagement and reputation?

Although 80% of my waking life is spent talking about work it’s still good to keep up to date about what is going on in the world, in general, terms. Is the WWIII only one step away and I don’t know about it? Was there a viral post that doesn’t match my direct interests but that’s worth to see? Is there a big music festival in my city today that I hadn’t heard about? Did my favourite brand released a new album and I don’t know about it?

More important than all of this: I want to do it fast. I need to start working in 20 minutes and I don’t have time to waste.

In Summary

In this article, I exposed many problems of newsreaders and content curation tools and gave you my personal view of how this products/services should be experienced.

Stay tuned for the next one I’m writing, about how we are doing it at Groupiest to solve some of these problems and how we hope to replace your content curation tool for something that does most of the hard work for you and doesn’t make you waste more time filtering content than consuming it.

How would your newsreader/content curation tool be? What do you miss in the way you actually consume content?