Curators Wanted: SpokenWord.org

Over the past two months we’ve been discussing the future of SpokenWord.org with our advisors, directors and members. We now have a new plan for SpokenWord.org and we need your help.

The web is awash with audio and video. There are great programs out there, but they’re just too hard to separate from the noise. We created SpokenWord.org because we wanted to help people locate the best podcasts, videos and slideshows. We got the basics right — topics and collections — but our homepage in particular isn’t discriminating enough. Literally every five minutes we display the latest programs in each topic, but they’re not filtered. There’s little sense of what’s worth watching or listening to as opposed to just being “new”.

What’s missing is the human touch. For example, I’ve recently become obsessed with photography, and I’ve been looking everywhere for the best podcasts and videos to help me learn more. Along the way I’ve had to work my way through all sorts of junk in order to find the good stuff. If only there were a photography guru who would take the time to find the best podcasts and individual episodes for me. That would be awesome.

So that’s what we’re doing in SpokenWord.org 2.0. We’re building a team of expert curators, each with his or her own specialty. These curators will find the very best audio and video programs and use SpokenWord.org to present them to you. These curators and their collections will be the primary feature of our website.

Is there a topic you’re particularly passionate and knowledgeable about? Would you be willing to share your expertise by maintaining a curated list of feeds and episodes for SpokenWord.org? Would you like to become one of our curators?

There’s no monetary compensation for your effort, but I think you’ll be rewarded by the appreciation you receive and the credibility you’ll gain within your niche. We’re going to work hard to spread the word about SpokenWord.org and our curators, and I think being the SpokenWord.org curator for a particular topic will eventually carry some real weight.

We’re still early in the process of implementing the website features to support this new concept. In fact, the concept itself is still evolving. If you’re interested either in becoming a curator or just participating in the discussion of how our curation system will function, please join the brand-new Google Group dedicated to SpokenWord.org curation.

We’ll soon have a way for you to formally apply to become a curator, but for now, joining the discussion is the best way to get involved.

13 thoughts on “Curators Wanted: SpokenWord.org

  1. Doug,
    Totally agree and think its a great idea. I cant tell you how many times I have had to drudge through something only to wish I had the ability to get my 15 minutes of wasted time back LOL! Put me down for helping with anything related to social media or social media marketing (including topics on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Buzz/Google Wave, etc…)

    Wayne Clayton
    SocialMarketingExpert.org

    Like

  2. Hi Doug,

    Thanks for your consistent efforts at building the Conversations Network and now SpokenWord.org. I think you may consider taking a look at http://huffduffer.com/. They are making it simple for users to navigate through the audio files with community-curated tags. It’s quite intuitive and easy to understand. Hope that can give you some helpful inspirations.

    Best,
    Tony

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  3. Hi Doug,
    Thanks for your persistence in this great challenge of the Conversations Network. I have certainly benefited and I am willing ready and able to commit to healthcare IT issues on a global basis (with an admitted bias to open source).

    Regards,
    Tim

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  4. Interesting that you are going the About.com model (single expert) rather than the Digg.com model (democratic). Can you speak about your decision making process?

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  5. The “experts” are often wrong about trends, about the importance of subjects and issues. Human curation is a good idea, but you may still end up with stuff that doesn’t appeal, except to the expert. And it gets boring, in any field, to see “the usual suspects” over and over again.

    Wish I had a better solution. Perhaps the number of comments attached to the content?

    Like

  6. I do metal sculpture instructional videos. I’d be interested in finding the audio/videos which are related to brazing / welding for the arts.

    There is a lot of information out there, some of which is perfect for the individual in their home shop and then some of it is for industrial use.

    And of course there is a lot of junk.

    If can help, let me know.

    George Goehl

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  7. Why not just have a rating system. Then everyone that reads it gives it a rating. The cream then rises to the top naturally.

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  8. “Why not just have a rating system. Then everyone that reads it gives it a rating. The cream then rises to the top naturally.”

    This works, but only if there are ratings. So please make sure that the curators rate as much as they can.

    I am discovering new content almost exclusively through my Spokenstars website, which filters out everything without a rating average of at least three stars. There are very few ratings right now, but it kind of works, with the handful of frequent raters acting as my curators.

    http://spokenstars.appspot.com/

    “Interesting that you are going the About.com model (single expert) rather than the Digg.com model (democratic). Can you speak about your decision making process?”

    Cannot speak for Doug, but the almost complete absence of ratings on the site could have factored in. You can only crowd-source if there is a crowd.

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  9. Maybe I can help, growing business, entrepreneurs, venture capital, and most general business related issues. My time is limited, however, but I do love the conversations. I never seem to get tired of them. Imagine that.

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  10. Is there a way to get ratings data from iTunes? Apple must be collecting it for internal uses. If you could mine that same stream of data it would be extremely beneficial. There are several podcasts that I watch/listen to every episode and rate every one of them as well. If there were an automated way to transmit this information, I would do it.

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  11. Maybe I can help, growing business, entrepreneurs, venture capital, and most general business related issues. My time is limited, however, but I do love the conversations. I never seem to get tired of them. Imagine that.

    Like

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