By David Rush
Another way to consider effective social curation is through the concept of user qualification. In other words, if we restricted social contributions to a subset of users based on certain qualifications, wouldn’t we bring more integrity and relevancy to results? For example, if only season ticket holders for a baseball team could comment or vote on what concessions were sold at the ballpark, wouldn’t the results carry more importance than if just anyone could weigh in?
Up to this point in time, location-based technologies have primarily been used to facilitate the common “check-in” or to connect people within a network who may be near one another. Rather than seeing location as a required license or qualifier to express more credible opinions to those outside of our social networks, it has been used to share our whereabouts with friends and others in our social network.
We can now begin to use location-based technologies to qualify a person’s ability to create social content that has relevance to their physical location at a specific moment in time. Imagine a filter requiring that any reviews written about a restaurant or hotel be made only by the patrons dining at that restaurant or the guests staying at that hotel. How about feedback on the selection at a store coming only from shoppers perusing the aisles with photo-ready smartphones to capture the inventory for others to view? These insights carry more credibility for those who want real-time information from people, or strangers, at a particular location. Rather than forcing users to ascertain which opinions are trustworthy, they would instantly have a qualifier attached to content based on location. And as for the contributors, their opinions and insights would naturally carry more weight and credibility. They would know that they were being heard.
By using someone’s location to qualify content creation, we have an opportunity to enable a new interest graph or “interest network” that produces smarter, more actionable content. And that is what social curation is all about.