UPDATED: I’ve received feedback which demonstrate I should explain myself better:)
(To me) social curation is not simply reposting or retweeting. While this provides a social filter to content it only solves part of the problem. In order for content to be truly relevant services need to enable people to set up further filtering themselves, so you only receive certain information from certain friends. Otherwise it’s still largely out-of-context information.
The service who’ve done this filtering the best in my eyes is Pinterest. Here you follow not a whole person (friend or interesting stranger) but a part of the person, fx. what he posts on his boards about tree houses, but not what he posts on his other boards which you find uninteresting. Everplaces will use a similar concept when launched.
We’ve long been seeing the demand for quality over quantity when it comes to information. Less is indeed more when you are surrounded by massive amounts of non-useful information (noise).
In previous decades we solved this with pre-editing, this is what bloggers and editors do when they select the content for us that they deem is interesting for us. But, now we’re entering into a new era, the era of social curation.
Today we can curate further ourselves. We can filter information flows before they hit our inboxes and streams. This mean we can get exactly what we’re looking for. The mass market is not a homogenous group, it is millions of individuals who are unique, but have overlapping requirements.
Social curations means we’re one step closer to providing each unique individual exactly the information that matches their interest and situation (and location)
This chart shows how it is easier and easier to curate content by spreading information you’ve found find worth spreading:
Entrepreneur Elad Gil comes to this conclusion in this detailed blog post:
2012 Will Be The Year of Curated Sets
2012 will likely see an acceleration of structured, push button, social curation across the web. Just as the first wave of social media has transformed the consumption of information, this next wave of social curation will fundamentally change how users find and interact with content over time.