From Webmasters to Content Curators

Recently read Rohit Barghava’s post Manifesto For The Content Curator: The Next Big Social Media Job Of The Future? and the first thought that entered my mind was how many new, semi-ridiculous job titles have been created since the dot-com era and how many more will likely be created in the future.

The Webmaster

Old Business Card

My very first business card

You start off as a “web paduwon” and after rigorous training and a series of tests, you become anointed a WEBMASTER. What were we thinking? Was it a product of some D&D dungeon masters wanting to parlay their fantasy title into the real world? I checked, there were only two job postings for webmasters. The single wizard with mastery of all things web has fragmented into a large mix of job titles that actually describe what the people do web developer, web designer, information architect, etc.

The Content Manager

Used to see more of these and the job descriptions seemed to resemble that of a magazine editor (only the content was online) or that which  we currently call an “information architect”. I saw one posting on for a Content Manager:

This role will involve:

– Assisting in the planning of and responsible for maintaining the presentation layer of product offerings

– Maintaining relationships with clients and suppliers.

– Providing ongoing guidance and support to clients.

– Testing video and audio content for use on devices.

– Analyzing and troubleshooting issues related to platform.


Content Engineer

This was actually a job title I held while freelancing for an agency in Australia at the turn of the millennium. I was an HTML coder; I’m not sure what was engineered and I don’t think actual professional engineers would’ve liked code monkeys sullying their professional designation much like sanitary engineers (see the second definition).

The Community Manager

Here’s one of the first web 2.0 titles that have come about. Community managers do important work listening to their constituents and evangelize the brands they represent. They tend to be skilled communicators and excellent at creating and managing relationships. But it’s sounding too much like content managers so I’m wondering how long this title will last.

The Content Curator

Rohit Barghava describes the content curator as “someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online”. I bet a lot of people do this as part of their job and it summarizes a lot of people’s tweetstreams (myself included). I just can’t see this being a full-time gig.

These are just a sample. There are likely many more to come. Afterall, in Karl Fisch’s  Did You Know/Shift Happens series of videos, he states that the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.


1 comment so far

  1. Terry Van Horne on

    Jason you make some good points about the terms used to describe jobs. Content curator may seem out there but… as Social jumps the gap to search content can be a bridge. Curators would be identifying where the bridge should be and what content should be there. For Social to move from engagement to sales/conversions content is needed to aid in the decision. For instance someone may learn the product they want through friends on a Social Network, but, chances are the friend won’t know where it is available in the buyers area and where to get the best price. That is what the content curator should be doing identify a content need and determine and implement a search/content strategy to fulfill the need and bridge the transition from Social Networks to site and conversions. It’d be a waste to just have people maintaining content, IMO, it has to be pro-active to be a legit job title.

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