Posted by Tom Foremski - December 7, 2010
[For much of this year I have been working with Pearltrees, which offers a visual web site curation service based on the visual metaphor of 'pearls' please see below for an example.]
Pearltrees this week launched a "Team" version of its curation service that allows groups of people to collaborate on curating a topic. Up until now each Pearltree was the responsibility of one person.
Alexia Tsotsis at Techcrunch reported:
Ideally this goes down as such: You really care about fashion so you search for fashion in the Pearltrees search box and are confronted with really elaborate visual cluster displays of fashion blogs, each blog its own “pearl.” You decide that anyone who likes The Sartorialist is probably a good egg and click on the puzzle piece in the Pearltrees detail window in order to ask if you can join the team.
If the team leader accepts, you then can see all the Pearltree curation happening as it happens as well as comment on individual Pearltree decisions. You can also share your team curation easily via Facebook and Twitter.
Pearltrees is part of a growing number of companies that offer curation services. Others include Storify, Curated.by, and more are coming on the market in 2011. Pearltrees distinguishes itself from the others in that anything that is on the Web can be curated. Other services are limited in what you can curate, such as curating just Tweets.
In addition, pre-fetching of web site content means that it is possible to browse a Pearltree faster than surfing from site to site.
At the Le Web conference in Paris this week, Pearltrees will demonstrate a version that uses a touch interface.
Foremski's Take: Curation will become one of the most important topics in 2011 because there is a limit to what algorithms and software can do in terms of helping to organize and navigate the Internet. I like to define curation as the human layer on top of the machine/algorithmic layer.
Techmeme, the news aggregator, is a good example in that it uses an algorithm to collect links to breaking news stories but also has 6 people reviewing and choosing the links that it publishes.
Pearltrees' team capability extends the usefulness of the service in that groups of people can collaborate on building more comprehensive collections of web sites.
I've been talking with PR firms about using Pearltrees to create a press kit consisting of links to an announcement; links to background information; links to video and audio materials; links to images, etc.
A reporter, for example, could grab that media kit Pearltree and use it in preparing a report. The dynamic nature of Pearltrees and its real-time capabilities means that if there is an error in the press kit, or if there is new information and it needs to be updated, the new information is automatically propagated in real-time to everyone that has the press kit Pearltree.
Over the next few weeks I will be launching some team Pearltrees and looking for help in curating various topics related to Silicon Valley. Here is the first one: a Pearltree for Silicon Valley PR firms (below).
If you would like to be part of this team just create a free account and send me a join request and I will add you to my team. Or create Pearltree for you PR firm and I will add it to this one.
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