Future of Content: Interview with Scoop.it’s CEO Guillaume Decugis

Last year’s favorite buzz word, Content Curation is set to go mainstream in 2013. Content Curation is the process of finding, organizing and sharing online content. The Future of Content is now mostly related with Curated content and Scoop.it is one of the key platforms for this.

Many people are realising that content curation can help them navigate today’s chaotic online world, which is overfilled with information. They need trusted sources, whom can make sense of all the noise. Business are also realising that it is a critical component to their content marketing strategies. The fact is, all major brands are now online and companies can now quickly build up thought leadership through Content Curation.

Scoop.it the fast growing social media platform for topic-centric content curation, has a platform with key features that highlights curated content user’s insights. Scoop.it platform and developments offers excellent visibility for professionals, businesses and the community.

Scoop.it handles integration with SlideShare, Hootsuite and Buffer, that give their users enhanced capabilities to optimize social media effort making publishing as part of a content marketing strategy. Having an extensive revamping of UI, Scoop.it offers an enhanced user experience, and is geared towards digital professionals or businesses who are looking for more visibility on the Web.

Web and Mobile entrepreneur Guillaume Decugis is the CEO & co-founder of Scoop.it, the publishing-by-curation platform that makes it easy to create an online magazine on your favorite topics.  He’s also a board member and advisor for various start-ups, including Tedemis, a European leader in email re-targeting.

Guillaume’s previous company, Musiwave, became the leading Mobile Music Service Provider in Europe and was sold for $120 million in 2006. It is now a Microsoft company. Guillaume also launched Goojet, a mobile social media which topped 1m downloads in France at the end of 2010. In the late 90’s, Guillaume spent 6 years at Sagem Mobile Division where he held several top positions. The busy Ceo kindly consented to provide answers to questions posed by IntelligentHQ, about the platform, Content Curation and how Scoop.it is disrupting content, media and journalism.Guillaume Decugis

IntelligentHQ: Tell us about yourselves and your background. (partners and backers as well if you care to disclose)?

Guillaume Decugis: I co-founded Scoop.it together with Marc Rougier. Both he and I have been repeat entrepreneur, Marc’s previous company – infrastructure software company Meiosys – was successfully acquired by IBM and my previous start-up, Musiwave, was the leading player in the mobile music market and is now part of Microsoft. We initially worked on a mobile project which involved content discovery and social but realized at some point that the problems we were trying to solve were actually bigger than mobile.

How can you efficiently discover long-tail content in today’s Web chaos? How can you exchange knowledge with people who have similar interests beyond your social graph? How can you develop a following on social media around a specific niche? These were both frustrating and fascinating questions for us and our team and we decided to turn the project into a Web social platform thus Scoop.it was born.

IntelligentHQ: What is scoop it? Who is it aimed at?

Guillaume Decugis:  Scoop.it is one of the fastest growing Social Media platforms used by professionals to develop their visibility online through topic-centric Content Curation. We help our users express a unique perspective on topics that matter to them through idea discovery, content curation, and social sharing. We like to say that we help them shine on the Web by making it easier for them to become media on their favorite niche and grow a targeted audience from it.

IntelligentHQ: What is content curation, why is it crucial for businesses?

Guillaume Decugis:   Content curation is the act of selecting, filtering, editing, contectualizing and sharing relevant information with an audience on a given topic. In any single day, millions of blog posts are written, tens of thousands of hours of video are uploaded to YouTube and more than a hundred million tweets are published. This means content curation has never been more needed. While it is a necessity for us all as content consumers, it is also a great opportunity for people, organizations or businesses to generate goodwill for themselves or their brands as content curators.

The more content we’re overloaded with, the more we will value and trust those who publish the information that matter to us. As a result, there is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to embrace content curation and become media to evangelize, educate and develop a loyal audience around their niches, developing brand awareness and equity in the process.

IntelligentHQ: Tell us about the evolution of the platform to date, and future innovations for 2013. 

Guillaume Decugis:   We launched publicly in November 2011, just a bit more than a year ago and rapidly grew at a 25-30% monthly rate ever since, reaching 5m uniques/month in less than a year (and counting since then). We’ve kept improving the platform to make it more open (we’re integrated with all major social networks), more mobile (through iOS and Android Apps) and more rewarding for our users through social features, content discovery mechanisms, etc… The platform will remain free to use but we also launched premium plans for the specific needs of professionals, businesses and companies. More recently, we’ve announced a series of partnerships and integrations with HootSuite, SlideShare, Buffer and LinkedIn that extend the capabilities of Scoop.it, specifically for professionals and businesses. For 2013, you can expect us to work on other partnerships with services that our users already like and we also have big ambitions for tablets.

IntelligentHQ: Critics often moan about content farming, how is this superior, and are there any risks associated with using content that is not originally yours?

Guillaume Decugis  :  We’re actually the opposite of content farming. Content farming was about producing cheaply low quality content to game Google through SEO tactics and algorithmic aggregation. This means you have 800 stories on “At what time does the SuperBall starts?” for instance. In other words, spam. Scoop.it users however don’t add to the noise but fulfill a very noble and important role: they help quality existing content be surfaced and distributed to the right audience. The Web used to be dominated by algorithms; it’s turning more and more humans thanks to social networks and human curators. And it’s a good thing.

IntelligentHQ: Optimising profiles and presence on social media can be daunting, does the platform make this any easier?

Guillaume Decugis :  That is actually one of the benefits we bring, yes. Scoop.it allows you to share your curation to all your social channels in just 1-click as you publish it. It’s important to understand that, as a topic-centric social media where users follow topics and not people, we’re not competing with existing social networks but rather complementing them: by letting our users become media publishers through curation, they can leverage their social presence as distribution channels and grow a targeted audience that will follow them or connect with them for very good reasons: similar interests.

IntelligentHQ: Do you think the media has lost its stronghold over the production and distribution of knowledge?

Guillaume Decugis:  If by media you mean traditional media companies of the past century, it’s fair to say they lost their monopoly on both production and distribution. Wikipedia, produced by you, me, everybody and distributed by Google and word of mouth, killed the Encyclopedia Britannica. But it doesn’t mean old media is dead. I actually strongly believe there are fantastic opportunities for them to reinvent themselves and leverage the brand assets they have. Media brands are respected and can also play a key role in that curation trend.

IntelligentHQ:  How is scoop it disrupting journalism?

Guillaume Decugis:   If we fast-forward these content overload trends a few years from now, I believe professional journalism will need to specialize in key areas such as investigation, fact-checking, curation, etc… Areas where the occasional blogger or the citizen-journalist with a smartphone can’t compete – as for everything else (real-time news, product reviews, etc…), they already rule (think about how you learn the death of Michael Jackson for instance). In such a landscape and provided we keep doing a good job, I think Scoop.it can play a key role as a distribution platform for quality journalism. We already have more and more media companies telling us we’re among their top traffic referrers.


Social Media.

Latest tweets: Scoop.it ‏@scoopit.@gdecugis thinks that Google’s new strategy to include Google+ & authorship in search results is good. http://ow.ly/gHVDS  What about you?.

Follow Guillaume Decugis and Scoop.it on twitter: @scoopit, @gdecugis

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/guillaumedecugis

Google+: http://plus.google.com/112741876592615487453