We save. Simple as that. Whether it’s old birthday cards, photos, important emails or research for an upcoming project, trip or major life purchase, we always save. It’s an innate reaction – almost a necessity – for us to remain afloat and informed in this “big data” age of rapidly moving digital content. In fact, it’s said that 90 percent of all data existing today has been created in just the past few years – running parallel to the rise of social microblogs like Twitter and Facebook. Coincidence? Likely not.

Most recently, however, much of the rave has been on content curators, companies like our client Clipboard. Last week, Clipboard Founder and CEO Gary Flake spoke at a PRSA Puget Sound chapter event about the evolution of the internet and the how today’s new content curation services can be leveraged by communication and marketing professionals to make our jobs a little bit easier.

A passion for philosophy and the know-how with technology, Gary took time during the talk to really dig into the how the internet has evolved from a browsing platform to a tool allowing you to create a “digital identity.”

Internet Evolution:

Starting with early internet companies, Gary discussed how the first service, or action, of the internet was to Browse. Thank you, Yahoo! and AOL.

The internet then extended its capabilities to Search (Google, Alta Vista). Imagine a world so inefficient due to a lack of search that we are forced to read newspapers and actually flip physical pages one-by-one! Thank you, um… who was the first search engine?

The ability to Connect with others was the third phase (Facebook, Twitter). The emphasis and reliance that the communication and marketing fields have put on these once-consumer social networks has led to a shift in corporate strategy – from push communication and advertisement, to listening and engagement.

And now, it’s all about Saving (Evernote, Dropbox). “For decades, saving stuff on the web has been effectively broken,” Gary stated, explaining how the rise of content curation services provides a remedy to the two-decade old challenge of saving and organizing content from the internet. “I find it strange that it took 20 years to save the web. It’s almost a historical accident.”

Better late than never, however. For us PR pros, I see planning conferences and creating briefing books a perfect use case for these types of tools. Think of all the random content we are researching and saving – maps, directions, show floors, hotel information, reporter background, sample articles, etc. It can be a mess trying to save just the parts of these pages we actually need. We copy and paste them into documents that don’t fully support or preserve its look and feel. Grids become jagged puzzles, and fonts and formatting take on a life and form of their own.

Clipboard solves these issues by letting you save this assortment of content all in one place and in a way that preserves the page in its original, fully functional form. From there, you can simply keep it for yourself, or @mention it to colleagues on your team who might also need access (seriously, it’s easy, and playing with the smart highlighter is fun too).

I challenge you to try it out. In fact, get on Clipboard now. Clip this blog post and share it with me. I’m @minda. Who knows, you might even accidentally learn to love saving the web.

Disclosure: Clipboard is a Weber Shandwick client.

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