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The Curatti Exception or why the best content on your website is THEIRS not YOURS:
Martin W. Smith's profile photoMark Traphagen's profile photojan gordon's profile photo
Bravo. A much clearer explanation of what you're up to than I've seen in the past. I just think I was confused by your cryptic references to "the Curatti way" when very few people know what the hell a Curatti is ;-)

Indeed, building mulit-author sites is one very scalable way to get enough content to keep attention. But your examples, such as HuffPo, are publishers who only exist to market that content (in order to get eyes on their site's ads). They have no other product to sell.

How does a commercial brand selling widgets implement this in a way that actually builds their brand and leads to qualified leads and sales? If I'm a widget seller, I'm not interested in becoming HuffPo or Currati. 

That's why I've maintained that curation, as you call it, is not the only solution to Schaeffer's (alleged) content shock. Getting better at making stand out content of your own that truly helps your potential customers is the other way.
Don't know +Mark Traphagen. Schaefer found the weakness in the math. I think it will  be easier than you think to create multi-author, multi-thread content for #lawyers #realtors #accountants #webdesignagencies because these and many other examples have natural content networks that arise from their clients.

Profiling those clients provides a valuable source of User Generated Content since they will maintain the page for the value of the link. That truth underscores why THEIR content is always more valuable on YOUR website and it is at the core of Schaefer's realization.

Schaefer realized the economics of #contentshock . He discovered Barabasi's "rich get richer" mathematical destiny of all content networks discussed in LINKED: How Everything Is Connected To Everything Else. Since the fabric of the new #SEO depends on an engine capable of generating ever increasing amounts of User Generated Content ( #UGC ) and confirming social shares Schaefer simply realized few will be able to get THERE from HERE. 

When I was a Director of Ecommerce we had a multi-author, multi-thread tool called a forum that, for a long time, was a valuable contributor to the site's SEO. Spam made what was once a winning idea untenable and Huffington took the forum and branded it much better.

I also think you are missing the real engine inside of Huffington, BuzzWorthy, Digg et al and that is UGC. +Phil Buckley and I met with a regular contributor of art content to Huffington the other day and sometimes his content wins top placements, sometimes it doesn't. The HuffPost algorithm is curating his content based on its social reception.

Huffington isn't a "publisher" as much as they are a SEO engine much like TechCrunch, Mashable or what Curatti will become. These engines trade their content and SEO density for free content.

I wrote for Technorati for a bit under this same contract. I provided free content and they decided what to blow up based on their experience. Sometimes they "blew up" content way before there was sufficient behavioral data indicating predictive analytics. That model isn't "publishing" as much as #contentcuration as +Guillaume Decugis pointed out in his post.

I would argue that any commercial digital marketer has NO CHOICE but to create the content authority Google seeks. Content authority comes from an increasing amount of social shares, QDF (Quality Deserves Freshness) content with high "ping rates" creating an ever widening content "net" and thus forming a HUB.

What Schaefer discovered was any PR4 or less website is unlikely to be able to afford the freight in such a zero sum game because content marketing math, the math covered in LINKED, favors existing hubs.

"Existing hubs" such as HuffPost, Mashable, (on the publisher side) and Digg, BuzzFeed and UpWorhty on the content engine side must scale "beyond the breakers" a journey many will attempt and few will succeed since building community is about the hardest thing to do in the world.

Finally, sorry but I disagree with your "stand out content" note.

Every piece of content I've had get out beyond the breakers (go mega-viral) did so because of powerful support from "rich uncles" such as, friends at or a combination of other benevolent sources (you for instance) making Schaefer's point - content only "stands out" with help and that help will become increasingly difficult for little guys (PR4 or below) to count on, orchestrate or develop.

If ROI depends on winning the lottery creating "standout content" is a hobby not a business and, as I noted in Content Shock vs. Curation, every creator of "standout content" will be dependent on an arbitrage curation mashup tool (,  "rich uncles" like HuffPost, Technorati, TechCrunch, or vox populi voting machines such as Digg, UpWorthy or BuzzFeed. I could argue HuffPost is exactly that - a vox populi voting machine since their backend algorithms function much the same but we can leave that very complex math for another time :).

For many reasons I hope YOU are right and Schaefer and I are wrong. Your vision is more democratic and fun. Problem is if web marketing was a casino the odds are with the house and that fact becomes more and more true daily forcing IMers to either ape "the house" by creating a Curatti-like "branded forum" or hope they win the lottery. M
I would still argue that if you are a little guy building a branding strategy around giving your best content to the major hubs, you're still going to get lost in the sauce. You'll still be in a race to get noticed and stand out on those sites. You've really just moved that battle one step back, from Google Search to the hubs.

Yes, building standout content on your own site and also building a valuable and loyal social fan base who will help spread it is a lot more work and a lot harder to do at scale, but I would still maintain in the long run it will bring your brand more value, recognition, and direct traffic that you can convert. I can't convert traffic to my post on Mashable.

Please understand that I'm not against publishing on hubs as an important part of a brand-building strategy. I do it myself as you well know. I just don't think it's the only solution to content shock, or perhaps even the best, from the content creator side.

Of course, I realize the focus on your pitch is on the other side; you're advocating becoming one of the hubs, trying to be the "rich who will get richer."But how long will that last? You have to be able to show an ROI to those who are supplying you with free UGS for them to keep spending hours of their lives creating it for you.
+Mark Traphagen We will need to agree to disagree. I've been DEEP inside the numbers with millions riding on every decision and Schaefer and Barabasi convince me the mathematical destiny of any content network is to HUB. I translate that to mean becoming more HUB-LIKE is what will make "stand out content" reachable, findable and viewable by the growing tribe needed to create the new #SEO .

I understand your #UGC point and noted I believe there will be a "UGC Shock" too where the best get the best (best gamified websites like HuffPost or BuzzWorthy or will win the best storytellers (since those storytellers believe there is ROI for their sharing content on those platforms and ROI will mean traffic more than money pointing out why it is good to be a hub and lousy to contribute to one).

The coming UGC Shock simply makes Schaefer's point stronger. Even your "stand out content" depends on the "rich uncle" of +Google+. The reason YOU are scaling is partially because you create "stand out content" and partially because you've been adopted by a powerful rich uncle (because you are an effective advocate). So, in a way, your "stand out content" is making Schaefer and my point :). M
Fair enough +Martin W. Smith - you've given me plenty to think about.

Thanks for finally explaining what you're on about in a clear and complete manner.
+Martin W. Smith Thought-provoking conversation here to say the least. Isn't there another step in all of this by making it worthwhile for UGC in some way where everyone has a stake in making this hub work? That's the piece I'm thinking about. Would love your thoughts on this......
That's what I was getting at +jan gordon. The main "pay" of some big hubs like HuffPo is the notoriety, being able to say "I write for HuffPo and for Forbes." But as more an more authors scramble to get on these hubs, will the cache eventually wear off? If so, they are either going to have to start paying writers again, or find some way to incentivize writers beyond just "Look, Ma, I'm on Mashable!"
+Mark Traphagen Agreed Mark. Having said that I want to get valuable information to my readers, I'm open to any suggestions you may have as to how to make it a win/win for everyone involved. Would love to hear your thoughts
+jan gordon if +Martin W. Smith can ever get our schedules synced again, we're going to get together for him to school me on Currati and and whatever the hell he means by "curation" ;-)

Then I'll want to talk with you ;-)
+Mark Traphagen Great, I look forward to it and am very open to possibilities that make sense going forward
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