If you look closely enough, some of the largest products today, revolve around curation. Not just products, even a fair amount jobs catering to knowledge workers, are centred around curation one way or the other.
From helping our indecisive brain to make a choice to being a time saver who value time over money, curation is an art that if mastered well, can be the edge an individual or organisation is looking for.
Back in 2013-14, when I was looking at the self-publishing market closely trying to make a product in the domain, I wrote the piece below as a promotional one. I might have written an ebook too for promoting the service but more people have read this post about writing an ebook rather than the actual ebook I wrote (zero downloads).
Original Title – A 2 minute crash course in writing effective ebooks
The world wide web, since its inception 25 years ago, has been successful in fulfilling its primary aim, that is to empower everyone with the required information. Today information is available in abundance but the quantity acts more of a con rather than a pro. The hardest thing nowadays is to extract meaningful information that is really useful from the endless stream of data.
That’s where ebooks come in, and I am talking about the information providing ebooks that can often be the best way to gain organic growth towards your brand, startup or yourself. An ebook can help you establish trust and authority among your prospective customers, readers.
It is said that people go for a ebook not because of its ‘originality’ but because of the convenience it provides in terms of gaining knowledge about a particular topic.
Here are the four problems that an useful ebook solve vs the abundant data already available online :
It extracts the essential information
Pick any topic and you will find more than enough information available online for free, a plethora of articles. More often than not these articles have little useful information ( information that can be explained in a few lines) and are extended purposefully for the sake of looking like an article. A good ebook contains only the useful information that provides value to the reader.
Good information is scattered. An ebook curates it.
Let’s say you search for tips regarding xyz, although you are bound to find good information but chances are high that all the good content, tips and advises will be available in a single place. A major reason people go for ebooks is that they have the comfort of having all the important information in a single place rather than having the same information scattered of multiple places.
It solves the problem of repeated content
Type in any hot buzzword and you are most likely to get articles such as — “5 ways to……”, “10 things you did not know about….”, “The best advice to……”, “How top people do…….”, “The most effective way to…”, “Doing this can make you more…”.
You open up all those articles to find that most of them are the same, centered around the similar piece of information, the same dish served in a different platter. Hence ebooks solve the problem of repeated content and saves the reader his/her most valuable asset — time.
Ebooks have the ‘Flow’
This probably is the best feature about reading stuff in a book format, books have a flow, the chapters are connected with each other and provide a flow that makes it easier to digest the content. Effective books beautifully transition from discussing about the problem to finally suggesting solutions to the problem.
There is a camp that believes if you just have enough data, and smarter algorithms, a curation machine will emerge discovers new and innovative ways to predict your taste. That might be true when sorting data on weather, says Kalia, but not for something as emotional as music. So Spotify uses each of its users as one cog in a company-wide curatorial machine.