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FreePint BlogCuration, cats and intuition

Tuesday, 20th November 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Scott Brown


When I get down to the business of sorting through relevant video and data, how do I sort through it all? And ultimately, do I trust the data, or do I trust my intuition?


I’m not one who will sit for hours and watch cute videos on YouTube, but I do enjoy the occasional cat video - and Cats in Sinks – with my morning coffee.

But then I get down to business. But, as Penny Crossland points out, I am faced with 72 hours of video being uploaded just on YouTube every minute. If I’m trying to do any sort of media monitoring for my organisation, or integrate video into my business and industry sources, am I really expected to search and sort through that much video?

Penny explores this question, and to some extent, says no - video curation tools are starting to emerge. Flipboard (the iPad app) now offers a video app, and Link TV World News (launched by has an algorithm to curate global news from 125 sources. Intriguingly, Upworthy offers video curated by actual humans. Video curation tools, I think, will become increasingly important to help us sort the wheat from the chaff in our work.

No matter how good automated curation is, human intervention often provides unique value – that’s part of why we do what we do. In the face of huge amounts of data – and in the face of concerns about misleading, incomplete or simply inaccurate data - at what point do we take back and trust our intuition? Tim Buckley Owen discusses developments in the social customer relationship management space, and how some global sales executives are disregarding ‘what the data says’ and going with their ‘best guess’.

I think this is intuition that info pros possess and can bring to bear in our work. Not only can we be instrumental in verifying resources and information – we can learn to pay attention to our intuition around information and take our best guess as well. As the saying goes, trust and verify.

Now if I can only sort my video curation tools, so I can get both the relevant business and market videos I need and the funniest cat videos in two distinct streams, I’ll be chuffed.


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Scott Brown is the owner of Social Information Group (, an independent information practice that focuses on the effective use of social networking tools for sharing and finding information. His forthcoming book, "Social Information: Gaining Competitive and Business Information Using Social Media Tools" will be published in late 2012. He has worked with libraries, Fortune 500 companies, startups, government organisations and individuals to help them understand and effectively use these tools for their clients, and to drive increased visibility and return on information resources. He has over 20 years of experience in library and information organisations, in public, academic and corporate settings. Scott is a regular speaker nationally on many areas of information work. He is also a professional coach.

You can follow him on Twitter at @socialinfo.

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