What’s New is Old

A few ideas bouncing around in my mind came into focus when I discovered a new blog yesterday and this post in particular. Nir Eyal writes about the shift from Web 1.0 to the Social Web to the Curated Web.  “The Curated Web is characterized by a fundamentally different value to users than the social web.  Whereas Web 1.0 was characterized by content published from one-to-many and social media was about easily creating and sharing content, from many-to-many, the curated web is about capturing and collecting only the content that matters, from many-to-one.” In an interesting juxtaposition.  Yesterday I also read Fred Wilson’s blog post about new media e.g. blogs overtaking traditional media.  This was a more far ranging, less structured, discussion but the group comments hit on many of the same ideas as Nir’s.

I have mixed feelings about this topic and the theory was not “sitting right” so as usual I was stewing on the subject.  Yes – I am consuming much of my content in a manner typical of the “Curated Web”…suggested by people I trust on email, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook but that is really just a subset of what I read.  It was Sunday when I was thinking about this and Sunday for me, if I’m lucky, means curling up for a good chunk of the morning with the NYTimes.  Yesterday was such a day – even in the remoteness of Kirkwood, CA my iPad had just enough data signal to get yesterday’s issue. Happiness – so much content I enjoy on topics ranging from politics to science to technology all in one place!  High quality Web 1.0 that is a fit with my tastes e.g. NYTimes, Economist, The Atlantic, WSJ plus the authors whose blogs I read regularly (blogroll ++) are as consistently satisfying and even more so than the “Curated Web”.  Perhaps it comes down simply to authorship.  There are authors whose content I want to read no matter the format.  I have enjoyed Thomas Friedman’s writing since “Beirut to Jerusalem” and read his books and columns regularly even though the reminder might come on Twitter.  Ditto for James Fallow, David Pogue, Dan Raviv, Joe Morgenstern, Andrew Harper etc. Certain topics come to me that way but not all.  I was trying to figure out the alignment – is it topical?

When I am looking for content on topics of my more recent interests such as leading a startup, VC fundraising, Women in Technology or the Cloud market I am finding myself in the more typical Web 2.0 pattern.  Perhaps this is because the content is more broadly distributed on the web leading me to appreciate more direction to it via curation.  Perhaps it is the nature of this content itself.  Interestingly, however, I find myself coming back full circle to identifying author’s whose content I like then subscribing – going directly to the source bypassing curation.  I’m curious if others are finding the same pattern and if/how it varies by type of content.