08/17/2011 02:21 pm ET | Updated Oct 17, 2011

Living In The Stream: Social Crush Or Social Bonanza?

The power of real-time is that we are literally immersed in the Social Stream -- linking to it, aggregating it, 'liking' it, and 'following' it. We are living in the stream.

It's not just about creation and distribution anymore. We are literally dismantling traditional structures of distribution and, at the same time, building new forms of curated information dissemination. The stream is restructuring the ways in which information flows in our world today.

We've all seen the eye-popping statistics about the social media frenzy we're all being swept up in. Way back in January we saw stats like this:

• 48% of 18- to 34-year-olds check Facebook when they wake up
• 28% check on their smartphone before getting out of bed
• Average user creates 90 pieces of content monthly on Facebook
• Twitter had reached an average of 200 million tweets a day. That's more than a billion tweets out monthly.

Toss in the buzz around global turmoil, the rocky stock market, the Oslo tragedy, the straw poll in Iowa -- not to mention the family picnic or the latest 'news' on Charlie Sheen -- and it's clear there's an onslaught of information.

Right now the tools for managing this fire hose of information can be frustrating. I know that I'm missing much of what flows through my own social stream. There are videos, links, comments and posts I should see but just don't.

If I'm feeling the crush, imagine what the enterprise is facing. Already deluged by the sheer weight of storing walls of digital data, no IT department wants to take on the never-ending information produced in the social stream.

And yet for 'social' to become a viable business process, we're going to need tools that help us organize, filter, deliver, search, and store information that matters.

Karan Bavandi, Founder and CEO of KBucket , is a leading voice in this burgeoning area of content curation. KBucket seeks to be the Internet's first 'User Authored Search Content' site. "Curation is more than filtering the stream, its maintaining a topic," says Karan. "A curator is someone with domain expertise who follows a topic, selects what's relevant, and then organizes the information in a way that helps us better understand the big picture. A serious curation solution combines organization and search as part of its offering."

Companies like KBucket will help bring the content ecosystem together by logically rating, tagging, and contextualizing the content to help us make sense of it. They'll provide tools to search and curate content and then help marketers mine the social influence that matters.

When that happens, social business might actually produce currency you can bank. So let's remember that we at the very beginning of a cycle of innovation that will trump anything we've seen in a long time. That's a social bonanza.

Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit LLC and the Co-Author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension. You can send her an email at