WYSKR & The Two Types of Curiosity

The rise of the new marketplace of ideas represents a significant change in the way curiosity is used to drive engagement with digital content.  

One way to think about this change is in terms of the distinction that author Ian Leslie draws between "diversive" and "epistemic" curiosity in his recently published book "Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It."

Leslie discusses these two types of curiosity in the video below published by The RSA (at 7:05):

By "diversive" curiosity, Leslie means our impulsive attraction to "novel stimuli," the kind that can leave us "floundering in a world of...fleeting, click-through distractions."

On the other hand, Leslie describes "epistemic" curiosity as the "deep, sustained quest for knowledge" that depends on effort, persistence and empathy.

These days, in just about every industry where "content is king," competitors are focusing less on exploiting their customers' diversive curiosity and more on cultivating their epistemic curiosity.

As it turns out, the epistemic approach is not only good for their customers in a multitude of ways, it's also very good for business.  Advertisers, brands and marketers, in particular are behind this shift. 

But while engagement with digital content based on epistemic curiosity is gaining favor, two challenges have emerged:

First, the new marketplace of ideas is getting crowded with an increasing number of competitors and ever more contentHow can competitors and customers alike capture the most value from the best content?

Second, the rise of the new marketplace of ideas is happening at the same time as the rise of mobile. How can engagement based on a "deep, sustained quest for knowledge" be supported on a device that's very good at delivering distraction?

These are the two questions that guided the design thinking behind the WYSKR platform. The next WYSKR blog post will discuss the data that helped provide the answers to these questions.

-Vernon Marchal
President, WYSKR Inc.