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Are the days of curation numbered?

It’s clear that the interest of internet users can be very fickle indeed. Sites and services can have sudden boosts of popularity and then pretty much disappear from view.

I’m thinking of Quora as one example. But also Digg, MySpace and many others…

And whenever there is a burst of hype around a topic it seems to be a precursor to a shortened life span.

Curation has recently emerged as a hot topic so does that mean it’s days are numbered?

Take a look at this Google Trends graph:

You can see that interest in the topic was fairly level for much of last year but is now on a sharp upward trajectory since the beginning of this year. And it looks like it has plenty of momentum going forward, clearly the topic has legs.

But is curation a flash in the pan? A trendy topic that will become old news as people move onto the next internet meme?

I don’t think so. This is a topic that won’t go away anytime soon because it is quickly becoming hugely important to the future of the internet and the user experience.

We’re experiencing a media tsunami that search alone cannot handle. We need curators to help organise and interpret the digital world.

Curation will do for search what search did for the web — made it usable and useful to millions of people.

We now have the tools and services that make digital curation easy and accessible by any internet user. The amount of curation is increasing tremendously and that means the user experience of the internet improves tremendously because people are finding and pointing to great content.

This is why I don’t believe that curation will go away because it will be a vital and integral part of the internet itself, it will be define the quality of the web user experience for everyone.

Yes, we will eventually see fewer posts on the subject of curation. But that will be because curation will disappear into the wallpaper of our digital worlds, so ubiquitous that it’s not worth mentioning.

Curation will be something that we do without even noticing that we are doing it.

Author | Tom Foremski: In Silicon Valley

Tom Foremski: In Silicon Valley
Tom Foremski is a former Financial Times journalist and the Founder and Publisher of Silicon Valley Watcher, which is an online news site reporting on the business of Silicon Valley and the culture of disruption. More