Curated Content: Changing the Signal-to-Noise Ratio

Jeff Perkins, ERS, for Zondits

Zondits started with a “soft launch” 3 years ago this month. We chose a soft launch, putting the site up in hidden mode but populating it on a daily basis, to give ourselves time to test the concept. We chose a curated portal rather than a blog for two reasons: our goal was to find compelling information related to energy efficiency and grid reliability from any and all sources, and we wanted to add some level of context or order for the more focused industry in energy efficiency. The soft launch allowed us to see if we could find enough news and information that was either lost in the noise, incorrectly oriented, or simply worthy of additional air time.

As both experts in and students of energy efficiency, we wanted to provide trusted curation for our industry. If you have been around as long as we have, you know that energy efficiency has always had its share of misleading claims and misunderstood technologies (does anyone remember the “energy buttons” for incandescent lighting?), and as websites addressing all manner of energy and sustainability blossomed, we saw a need to sift through the growing volumes of information. Energy efficiency was frequently getting either lost in the distraction of sustainability and renewables or further misunderstood.

The soft launch was a success. We went live in early 2014, and as of this writing Zondits has logged over 30,000 users. Curating content is about providing quality information that readers can rely on, not making things up as you go. For sure, we (and our partners) create original content, but mostly we are watching and monitoring what is happening. Our aim is to deliver information that’s fresh to you because it had been lost in the noise its first time around ‒ and you looked to Zondits because you’ve come to know it would be there.