Monday, February 20, 2012

Can Social Image Curation Mean The Demise of Written Language?

It was an action-packed week for those following the social curation space. Pearltrees raised $6.6 MM in funding, while Pinterest colonies continued to bubble up. GigaOm's Bobbie Johnson correctly reminded people that content curation is not just about Pinterest, it also includes players such as Delicious, Mlkshk, Paperli, and shoppers' delight Svpply. I'll add FFFFound to that list.

It's hard to say who will be a winner among these services in three years. It may depend on:

a- Number of dedicated return visitors, who do not stop clipping and curating after the 'in-thing' fades out

b- Whoever manages to make the best sense of aggregated consumer data collected on these sites

Nonetheless, the rush to these content curation sites underscores online populations' preference for image-based communications, supported with few words -- if at all. Visuals help communicate fundamental concepts at a basic level. There may be deep thoughts and long dialogues with rich vocabulary behind them, but the more we clip and click, the fewer words we need to get the idea across. As Lawrence Baines, the author of the Futurist article: "A Future of Fewer Words?" indicates, we're losing precision and eloquence as we use fewer polysyllabic words. 

The sharp increase in social curation site users confirms the universal language of the Web as 'the image.' 

Posted via email from dotwom's posterous

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