Content Aggregation. Past present Future

    Traditional print media are going through hard times. This is obvious to anyone who draws all the important information on the Web and does not remember when they last bought a paper newspaper or magazine. Moreover, more and more interesting and high-quality content is created not by professional authors, but by ordinary people through blogs and social networks.

    According to the Harvard Business Review, over the past two years, humanity has generated more data than in its entire previous history. In this regard, the problem of information overload comes first. 21% of the time spent on the Internet is spent by users on searching, and 41% of this time is spent on searching for content that was once seen. The figures clearly indicate problems, both in obtaining new information and in storing existing information.

    It is also interesting how social networks have an impact. According to ComScore, 47.8% or 181.5 million Europeans visit news sites (9% more than last year) and in 10% of cases, Facebook visits precede news viewing. The study also says that this percentage is gradually increasing, which indicates the growing role of social networks in the process of searching and consuming information.

    Why content aggregation?


    Obviously, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the user to navigate in the huge stream of information that is available to him now. In addition, some abstract information is no longer needed by anyone - everyone wants to read exactly what they like or what they might like. And besides, spend a minimum of time on all this.

    For this, various solutions for aggregation or curation of content (aggregation or curation) are created. Their main tasks can be defined as follows:

    • time saving;
    • saving money - many media are now trying to restrict access to their content with a paid subscription - paying everyone is not profitable, it’s easier to use an aggregator that has already solved all issues with copyright holders;
    • Increasing relevance of search results
    • archiving and categorization of content;
    • single entry point;

    A bit of history


    During the existence of the Internet, a large number of attempts have been made to help the user somehow organize, catalog what he personally finds on the Web. It all started, perhaps, with bookmarks in the first browsers in 1993 and search engines, which were originally the very same directories of someone pre-selected links.

    Then progress came to the most popular social bookmarking services. Bookmarking services were and are one of the flagship ideas of Web 2.0 and UGC (user generated content). It is not surprising that after the emergence of the most popular and still alive Delicious service, such services began to appear like mushrooms after rain.

    Another very prominent company in this field is Digg, founded in 2004. Digg works as a recommender system for sharing and ranking news. followed by Reddit in 2005 and Newsvine in 2006.

    Modern market players


    If we talk about more or less modern solutions, then Pinterest.com , originally positioned as image curation service, can serve as an example . The project entered the international scene in 2012 and became the third most visited site in the USA after Facebook and Twitter. According to a study by research firm Experian Hitwise , Pinterest has more visitors than LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+. This suggests that, despite all of his seals, it is a convenient and popular tool for filtering photo content.

    Another new way to save the right content is Clipboard.. It allows you to save the whole page as well as its part: text, photos or an element of the website. Everything saved is in the user profile. In addition, each such saved fragment has a link - where it was taken from and tags that are assigned manually. The usual social elements are also present: you can share your saved, make friends and look for new friends.

    In addition to the projects presented above, Likehack.com , a service for automatic search and storage of content based on user activity in social networks , can be noted . Just the other day, the company received investments and is now engaged in the development of the project. Despite the fact that the service is in the alpha version, according to its management, it is already processing accounts of more than 500 thousand people.

    Industry outlook


    It is believed that, in general, Web 3.0, as a phenomenon, consists in the personalization of information and the methods of its delivery to the end user. Thus, with an increase in the information load on the average user, content filtering services also evolve and gradually become more familiar.

    Demand for such solutions will not decrease until there is an increase in the number and thickness of information flows, the level of involvement of the average user in the Internet environment and the penetration of the Internet in modern society as a whole.

    Indirectly, this proves the increase in the growth rate of the user base of services that solve the problems of aggregation and filtering of content. So, if in 2008 at the peak of its development Delicious had 6 million (launched in 2003) users, Evernote now hasSince approximately 25 million users (12 years of development), Pinterest for nine months of existence has gained a base of 10 million people.

    It can be assumed that the next step of such services will be the personalization of content based on social networks, high-quality visual presentation, deep implementation in mobile environments and the widespread use of semantic technologies. This is also evidenced by the fact that approximately 6 billion links per month are estimated by users on Facebook.

    The conclusion is obvious - there has never been such a fertile ground for content projects.

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