App Inventor and Curation of Content

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App Inventor promises to do to the application ecosystem what Blogger, YouTube, and other Web 2.0 sites did to the Internet. Soon the Android ecosystem will be flooded with the application equivalent of videos of cats falling off things, highly specific tools with a target market of one, and people who see this as a bad thing.

Like the Internet, Google’s App Inventor will follow Sturgeon’s Revelation. Just like Blogger, the Little Big Planet level editor and the Spore creature creation tools, there will be some awesome stuff built with totally original ideas and a huge volume of dross to shovel through to find them.

Tools that simplify creation and distribution of content lower or eradicate barriers of entry. The ability to create at a level equal to that of the new tools is commoditised. The real value at this level of content becomes the idea, its execution, and being able to find what you want. After all, there is a lot of content and some is good enough for most of the market and free. It is only the remarkable that people will pay for.

If the ability to find the relevant stuff had no value, search engines wouldn’t exist. All media distribution channels or nodes have used this editorial power to create value, online and offline.

The ability to find the relevant stuff is valuable, and Google has built their business on this idea. The Android App Marketplace has been criticised for its high number of poor and legally dodgy applications, from potentially malicious apps to those using unlicensed intellectual property. The Android Killswitch was announced, but there is bound to be more to come from Google on providing a better way to sort, classify and deliver relevant apps, because if they don’t, someone else will.

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