Before news aggregators, content curators, and Google’s omnipotent algorithm, the world’s information was sorted by real human beings. In the web’s next phase, argues The IdeaLists’ Karyn Campbell, the old-fashioned editor is poised for a comeback. But while algorithms once threatened to replace gatekeepers, online media will see a move back to the future: professional, human filters (the artists formerly known as editors) will play an integral role in the next web after all. We’re witnessing the convergence of search engines, social networks and content publishers. Facebook is hiring news editors, YouTube is signing multimillion-dollar deals with professional filmmakers, and AOL is betting its future on the editorial direction of Arianna Huffington. Once-automated networks will increasingly need to foster a voice to build loyalty.
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