Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Content Aggregation And The New Curators: Podcasting Newsmasters

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The need to select, filter and aggregate the best and most relevant content from the growing ocean of bits that surrounds us, becomes of greater and more significant importance by the day.

Unless we start to leverage the filtering ability of talented content curators, editors and newsmasters with the efficiency and speed of new tools which allow them to find, monitor and spot key relevant content bits, we are doomed to be either drowned in this chaotic cloud of content available to us or to miss a great deal of the very best of it.

Photo credit: ELEN

I think there is no escape from the above, unless you decide to spend most of your waking hours to do just that: subscribe, gather, aggregate, scan, select, edit, remix, compile, republish, share, syndicate.

That's the job of those who will become the most coveted information and entertainment providers. In any knowledge, research, education or business area, the sudden and rapidly accelerating shift in the amount of content / information available to each one of us, creates instant necessity to create, nurture and grow such talent, or the very product of our own newly gained communication abilities will never realize its synergistic, aggregated potential.

I have been referring to this content aggregation new role and practices as newsmaster / newmastering, because when I first saw this coming, my focus was in RSS potential for aggregation, editing and curated news selections (what I would later call news radars).

Today, a curator, a news editor, a compilation dj, a news jockey, or a newsmaster are all doing the same thing. They are helping us scale the huge amount of information bits available to us by making some good filtering and selections ahead of us.

Though some of these roles have existed for some time now (I can think of DJs in the seventies and later on the editors of CD compilations - like Jose Padilla father of the original Cafe del Mar compilation series), as the size and publication speed of content grows, there is going to be greater and greater need/ demand for such editors.

So while we are growing a culture of small and micro independent publishers, radio stations and new movie makers online, we also need to realize the importance and the opportunity being generated by this transformation: A content generation phase that is fundamentally based on aggregation and strong editorial character/uniqueness.

Don't think of newspapers or news on TV. Those are the bad, wrong examples. Those didn't do what I am describing because they were not designed, meant and used for allowing such transformations. These were mass media of propaganda. Used by the few to influence, coerce, persuade and scare the many. They were not aggregators and filterers of selected content on key unique topics by independent individuals or small groups.

This is what I am inviting you to start seeing. This transformation. This opportunity.

And maybe it can further help seeing it from the eyes of someone that is not me.

Lee Gibbons, CEO of, a new podcasting service, wrote a few days ago on his blog:

Photo credit: Lee Gibbons

"In real estate, they say, "location, location, location!" when citing the key element of success.

The web entrepreneur's equivalent element would be, "differentiation, differentiation, differentiation!"

When I first wrote Podango's 10 Rules, and in particular Rule #8, the thing that was standing out for me was the importance of letting each Podango Station Listener customize their Podango feed to meet their precise needs. This gives them the best podcasts coming to them by way of the sifting sorting and prioritizing provided by their Station Director, and they can opt out of and re-arrange the priority of the podcasts to match their tastes.

More recently, with the launch of PodShow Plus, I have become convinced that Podango's uniqueness is its model with Station Directors at its core.

Rather than having people create a glorified MySpace playlist of their favorite podcasts and calling that a channel (which is really no better than just subscribing to the various RSS feeds that comprise the channel) or having them share their lists and see them recompiled by others (I am not knocking PodShow, here, just expressing a belief that there is a deeper contribution model that enables a richer set of benefits to those served by it.), the Podango's Station Model, with Station Directors who own their stations suggests and shows the way for a truly differentiated set of benefits to the listeners.

Podango Stations reflect the wisdom of passionate Station Directors whose proven expertise guides their ongoing sifting, sorting and prioritizing of the best podcasts that serve the needs of their listeners.

Station Directors are explorers, critics, infectors, organizers, combiners, refiners, and creators.

They provide an invaluable service to a deliberate mass of people with a focused, shared interest. The result is a very useful set of podcasts that contain the most important conversations going on in their field of interest.

They also sit at the center of the community comprising the station listeners and podcasters as well as the community's luminaries, key thinkers and leading vendors/sponsors.

From this spot they can enable rich, on-going conversations that align important agendas and move the community forward.

They bring forward the most compelling podcasts. They help introduce important new podcasts. They spotlight podcast episodes that truly matter that were created for other audiences. They monitor and highlight the best conversations happening within the community.

I now strongly believe that even as important as customization and giving users choice is to our success, giving users expert guidance and voice in the important conversations that define their areas of interest is of superior importance.

Station Directors make that happen. Their impassioned service of the communities served by their Podango Stations will continue to be the key differentiator for Podango. This is what Podango will work to empower and enable with the highest priority going forward."

Photo credit:

Lee Gibbons
original title: "Be Unique" - August 8th, 2006

For video and for podcasting these new roles are particularly important, as finding the right content on a specific topic means wasting tons of time wading through irrelevant and badly produced stuff.

Creating video and audio compilations that give coverage to very specific themes and topics with content coming from the most varied sources, mainstream and grassroots, but all selected with the same high degree of competence by the editor, generates value, provides good service and allows this huge content production system to scale itself and to allow its own cream to surface.

What do you think?

Lee Gibbons -
Reference: Podango [ Read more ]
Readers' Comments    
2006-08-25 01:59:45

Todd Cochrane

This is one of the reason we built people want to find specific content and we make it easy for them to use search terms to build a custom rss feed and playlist of content that focuses them in on the podcast content that they want.

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, August 22 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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