Curation and Groupon – Pete Cashmore’s take on new media mirrors ours

Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable, with a take on new media at the Mashable Media Summit:

1:45> “Which company is the next big thing in social media?”
Pete: “the real obvious answer… would be Groupon…”

To elaborate, social “buying” via Groupon-type couponing systems really mirror a change in the way advertising is perceived. Advertising has essentially gone “real time”. Consumers respond to the instantaneous monetary benefit and call to action that a deep discount deal provides. To an advertiser, the coupon systems are cost effective and don’t have the fail risk of an expensive CPM-driven advertising campaign because there is no money upfront and they pay only for the customers who buy in. This “eat what you kill” philosophy drives online business models because there is an exact return on investment that advertisers can bank on.

2:43> Pete: “There’s a new trend… called User Generated Curation… users are curating content more than they’re creating it”. Pete talks about Facebook “likes”, Twitter “retweets”, and blogs that repurpose other content as evidence to the trend of content distribution. He also discusses how heavily curated news items will float to the top ranked positions on websites like Mashable because their popularity generates more traffic to the website.

Curation is, at its base, just the new media term for “publication”. Media has always published articles and columns based on the perceived strength of readership interest. Social media just makes this quantifiable through crowdsourcing algorithms. Mashable and Huffington Post are new media darlings because these sites curate popular news based on readership preference for social media and liberal politics, respectively.

Although Pete speaks about curation from a mass media viewpoint, he misses a point about where news is still being “created” en masse. That’s the hyperlocal social media that takes place in local blogs and the communities of Facebook and Twitter where local news is constantly created on a real time basis. The disappearance of salaried local journalists creates a void in local news, and various crowdsourced news models like spot.us are being tested.

Simply put, it’s easy to predict that crowdsourced community content will be generated more and more in Facebook, Twitter and other networks, and then curated by the community into contructs like 365 Things to Do and Breaking News.

Breaking Bergen County News Facebook

There will be Facebook business pages by local retailers that will advertise their weekly specials like they currently do with Sunday ad circulars:

Staples Facebook

In sum, even weekly sales data can be considered local content, and will be curated by locals sharing this timely information. In Japan, there’s already a popular housewives’ social network that provides real time pricing information on local stores.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.