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Amazon's iPad App(s)

When Less is More

We live in an age of seemingly infinite choices.  Hundreds of thousands of new books are published each year.  Actually, the total is even larger when you add in all the self-published books.

So isn't it interesting that while the number of books published every year continues to climb, the biggest story in the technology world has to do with providing less, not more.  I'm talking about the iPad and a very insightful blog post by Forrester's Sarah Rotman Epps.  Sarah talks about limited content on the iPad platform and refers to it as "curated computing", which she defines as "a mode...where choice is constrained to deliver less complex, more relevant experiences."

The skeptic in me points out that the iPhone/iPad platform now has 200,000 apps and includes the Safari browser that let's you go anywhere you want (as long as your destination doesn't rely on Flash!).  Nevertheless, her point is relevant to everyone in publishing.  After all, isn't content curation the single most important service a publisher can provide?  When the choices are many it's the trusted brand (e.g., author or publisher) that's sought out.  The one who has built a reputation for curating content floats to the top.

That's always been the case and it always will be, regardless of the format.  Another key point here is that portable devices often lend themselves more to short form content than long form.  Get in and get out.

Remember that great quote about how "if I had more time I would have written you a shorter letter"?  That rule still applies, perhaps now more than ever.  With all the information coming at me each day I place a high value on filters and content curation.  I don't have time to read every technology article, so I often focus on the ones pointed out to me by people I trust.

Thanks to the low barriers to entry for content creation, content curation becomes even more important in the future.  I'm willing to pay for filtering services, but only if they truly save me time.  When you look at it this way, living in a world of limited choices isn't such a bad thing after all!


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