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.