While it’s true that anyone can be a publisher in the Internet Age, it’s also true that the most commonly used tools aren’t for everyone.
Take blogging, for example, or Twitter. Over time, a significant number of people find it hard to persist in publishing over those types of platforms on any kind of regular basis.
That has created an opportunity for Scoop.it, a one-click publishing platform that allows curators to publish beautiful online magazines. The company launched publicly in November; so far, nearly three million people have tried it out.
“You are doing the work of an editor, not a writer,” explains co-founder and CEO Guillaume Decugis. “Let the web be your newsroom. There’s so much content already out there.”
Scoop.it is organized around topics as opposed to the people curating those topics. So, rather than follow a person, you follow their topic; you can even “re-Scoop” it.
The service, which is free for a basic account (more on premium accounts later), makes it easy to share your topic pages over Facebook and other social networks.
“Not everyone can be a writer,” muses Decugis, who says he had hoped to be a writer himself while growing up, “but now everyone can be a magazine publisher.”
The company consciously avoids describing itself as providing a new medium, preferring to focus on the magazine metaphor, which can be easily grasped by users. The average user curates one or two topics, although the occasional super user may have several dozen.
“Our assumption is that pretty much everyone has a passion about something,” says Decugis, and it’s those passions – often sports, food, and lifestyle topics – that these instant magazines mostly revolve around.
The quality of a curator’s work is evaluated algorithmically, resulting in a Scoop.it score, based on how active she is, how much depth she provides to the topic, including adding some original editorial content, how much sharing activity results and the reactions from her readers.
The more highly-ranked topic curations rise to the top of the site. The company also provides tools like a suggestion engine that crawls the web for content, and overall, the publishing process is quick and easy.
“It’s an order of magnitude simpler than blogging,” says Decugis, “and it’s even simpler than Twitter.”
The company’s current business plan is based on a subscription model; power users can upgrade to a paid account. But probably the most profitable product will be its business account, which is priced at $79 a month, and allows publishers to create highly visual magazines while gaining access to the valuable usage data that will help them understand their audiences better going forward.
Among the companies we’ve profiled here at 7x7.com that are using Scoop.it at present is Boutiika (pictured at the top of this post).
Decugis is not bashful about Scoop.it’s ambition. “For the future, we want 50 million curators.”
For now, let’s say he’s off to a pretty good start.