Re-Organizing the World’s Information: Why we need more Boutique Platforms


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 15, 2023

3 min read


Re-Organizing the World’s Information: Why we need more Boutique Platforms

In today's digital age, information is more abundant than ever before. With just a few clicks, we can access a vast array of data and knowledge from all corners of the globe. However, the sheer volume of information available has made it increasingly difficult to find the signal amidst the noise. This is where the need for more boutique platforms comes into play.

One of the challenges we face is the overwhelming number of filters and algorithms that dictate what content we see. Many platforms, such as Google, have become ad-based business models, prioritizing monetization over the search experience for users. As a result, the focus has shifted from organizing trustworthy information to generating clicks to support advertisers. This shift in priorities has created a massive trust gap between users and these platforms.

Privacy is often touted as a reason to leave Google and other similar platforms. However, for the majority of people, the ability to "control their data" is not a compelling enough reason, especially if it means paying for a service they are accustomed to receiving for free. This raises the question of how we can organize the world's trustworthy information without compromising privacy or resorting to ad-based models.

One solution lies in the concept of curation. While the conversation around curation has primarily centered on the content itself, there is a need to shift the focus towards the structure. Simply put, curated content feeds should move away from the never-ending-now orientation and towards more goal-oriented interfaces. Users should be able to find the content they want on their own terms, rather than being at the mercy of when the curator decides to publish.

Ben Evans famously said, "All curation grows until it requires search, and all search grows until it requires curation." This statement rings true in today's digital landscape. The amount of information being created is like a firehose, and we have few people dedicated to filtering, organizing, curating, and indexing that information. As a result, many curation sites fall into an existential trap, starting with high-quality recommendations but gradually declining as they scale with crowdsourcing and scraping.

Vertical search aggregators like Yelp have filled the gap left by these curation sites. However, their ad-driven models often make them feel like marketing blogs rather than platforms focused on providing valuable and trustworthy information. There is a need for a new approach that prioritizes the user experience and ensures that curation remains a vital part of the search process.

So how can we achieve this? One potential solution lies in token-based business models. By giving ownership to stakeholders and allowing subscribers to benefit from future upside, startups can overcome the cold start problem. This approach incentivizes users to actively participate in the curation process and creates a sense of ownership and community.

In conclusion, the need for more boutique platforms that prioritize trustworthy curation has never been greater. As information continues to inundate our lives, we must find ways to filter through the noise and discover the content that truly matters. By shifting the focus from ad-based business models to user-centric experiences and incorporating token-based models, we can create platforms that not only organize the world's information but also provide a curated and valuable search experience for users.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Seek out boutique platforms that prioritize trustworthy curation over ad-driven models. These platforms are more likely to provide valuable and reliable information.
  • 2. Consider supporting startups that utilize token-based business models. By doing so, you not only contribute to the growth of these platforms but also stand to benefit from the future upside.
  • 3. Actively participate in the curation process. Engage with curated content, provide feedback, and contribute to the community. This helps ensure that the platform continues to prioritize user experience and valuable curation.

With these actionable steps, we can contribute to the evolution of the digital landscape and create a more curated and trustworthy information ecosystem.

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