My friend Pito (from Blogbridge, where I am an advisor) muses about what next generation aggregators could look like (here and here)…a solution to deliver appropriate content to a person based on very minimal profile information.
This is indeed going to become one the biggest challenges in the near future – and not just for readers who are struggling to find the right content, but also for content publishers – including marketers, bloggers, reviewers, publishers, etc. – who are increasingly finding it harder to get their content in front of the right people (at the right time).
What makes this challenge especially complicated is that the information needs for people change over time. Some “information consumption” needs are episodic or one-time – like the need to find vacation-destination related information or college admission information. Sometimes, the “information delivery” or the “information packaging” needs also change over time – some days you might have a lot of time on your hands and be in the mood to read large amounts of detailed information while other days you are so busy that you can only consume headlines for those things that are most important for you at that particular point in time.
Another twist to this is that sometimes I may not even know what might interest me – especially when you are talking about the intersection of disciplines. I may have a high interest in social networking issues and not really know that there is a rich body of knowledge about that in the online gaming content providers, or in the systems-dynamic based learning community.
Pito thinks that the answer to this will not be a better aggregator, but something else. I tend to agree with that. But considering that the solution is probably one that combines human expert content filters with non-expert human tagging and automated technology based filtering and behavioral targeting solutions – what would it be?