Excerpted from article by great curator Maria Popova:
"Tim O’Reilly recently admonished that unless we embrace open access over copyright, we’ll never get science policy right. The sentiment, which I believe applies to more than science, reminded me of an eloquent 1945 essay by Vannevar Bush, titled “As We May Think.”
Much of what Bush discusses presages present conversations about information overload, filtering, and our restless “FOMO” — fear of missing out, for anyone who did miss out on the memetic catchphrase — amidst the incessant influx. Bush worries about the impossibility of ever completely catching up and the unfavorable signal-to-noise ratio.
Bush makes an enormously important — and timely — point about the difference between merely compressing information to store it efficiently and actually making use of it in the way of gleaning knowledge.
To that end, I often think about the architecture of knowledge as a pyramid of sorts — at the base of it, there is all the information available to us; from it, we can generate some form of insight, which we then consolidate into knowledge; at our most optimal, at the top of the pyramid, we’re then able to glean from that knowledge some sort of wisdom about the world.
He stresses, as many of us believe today, that mechanization — or, algorithms in the contemporary equivalent — will never be a proper substitute for human judgment and creative thought in the filtration process.
He presages hypertext, the internet, and even Wikipedia — and, perhaps more importantly, laying out a model for what excellence at the intersection of the editorial and curatorial looks.
Bush nails the value of what we call today, not without resistance, “information curation”:
Bush wrote: "There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world’s record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected."
He concludes by considering the cultural value and urgency, infinitely timelier today than it was in his day, of making our civilization’s “record” — the great wealth of information about how we got to where we are — manageable, digestible, and useful in our quest for knowledge, wisdom, and growth..."
This is a very interesting piece by Erin Griffith (again!) on the potential scalability issues of content curation. You can pass quickly on her first part where she easily bashes the usual concerns about the curation word being overhyped and over used.
She makes a really good point on her second part, building on the experience of Behance, the platform to publish one's creative work: using a mix of algorithms and human curation is a part of the answer to this scale issue.
But another way to scale curation is to add a topic-centric layer. In the problem she describes (which is typically Behance's problem), scaling up is tough because curation is being applied to sort out the best content on a unique dimension: a home page that's the same for everyone. "Behance’s front page could no longer display what algorithms determined was the most popular art within [the] site’s community. Because of boobs. They are universally the most popular thing on the Web, and not even a tasteful, creative site like Behance is safe when the “wisdom of the crowd” is involved. To be clear — boobs are welcome on Behance, but the site skews toward commercially viable work. A porn pit may entice creative directors but not in the way Behance wants to entice them." she funnily writes.
If you added topics to that, you can solve the problem by having people follow whichever topics they want. And I'm not talking about the usual 10-20 categories you find on any content sites. I'm talking about long-tail, user-created topics that any user can opt in to follow or unfollow. Boobs fans can then follow dozens of Boobs topics curated by other fellow users without having to pollute the experience for everyone else.
By mixing a topic-centric model with curation, you apply it to as many dimensions as your users will decide to curate. That's the model we've been using at Scoop.it and so far, it scales pretty well, doesn't it?
Robin Good: If you are interested in understanding how "content curation" differentiates itself from simple re-sharing and re-blogging here is a great article by Chris DeLine.
Great advice for anyone wanting to become an effective content curator: “Whether in tweets, in blog posts, in podcasts, or in newsletters, be ruthless with your attention.
Some adopt a strategy of blanket-curation, throwing everything new or fresh or remotely interesting online and letting other consumers make their own value distinctions.
Others assume the role of tastemaker, selectively making the decisions themselves.
Both have their place, but the former contributes to what Jonathan Haidt calls “the paradox of abundance,” which he says “undermines the quality of our engagement.”
How many content-overload websites can you monitor before you become overwhelmed by volume? How many share-explosions does it take before you remove a friend from your Facebook feed? How many Tumblr pages can you pay attention to before the reblogs become a blur?
Thoughtful, honest, and caring curation isn’t entirely different than creation.
After all, the topics you choose to research, to blog about, and to discuss with friends all begin with the process of sifting through the media abyss yourself and singling out worthwhile information."
What really counts is to create content that is useful, meaningful and helpful for others, whether from direct hand authorship, or by curating the best existing resources.
A big question for the coming year: How will the right communities get the right kind of news? ***
Vadim Lavrusik, Dec. 21, 2011
For the last year, much of the focus has been on curating content from the social web and effectively contextualizing disparate pieces of information to form singular stories. This has been especially notable during breaking news events, with citizens who are participating in or observing those events contributing content about them through social media. In 2012, there will be even more emphasis not only on curating that content, but also on amplifying it through increasingly effective distribution mechanisms.
Because anyone can publish content today and report information from a breaking news event, the role journalists can play in amplifying — and verifying — that content becomes ever more important. Contributed reporting from the citizenry hasn’t replaced the work of journalists. In fact, it has made the work of journalists even more important, as there is much more verification and “making sense” of that content that needs to be done. And journalists’ role as amplifiers of information is becoming more crucial.
What does that mean? It means journalists using their skills to verify the accuracy of claims being made on social media and elsewhere, and then effectively distributing that verified information to a larger audience through their publications’ community of readers and fact-checkers on the social web.
Curation itself will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated ...
Before news aggregators, content curators, and Google’s omnipotent algorithm, the world’s information was sorted by real human beings. In the web’s next phase, argues The IdeaLists’ Karyn Campbell, the old-fashioned editor is poised for a comeback.
Content Curation is so much more than compiling lists and dropping articles, blog posts, and images into pretty templates.
Content Curation is big time business
Content Curators — or editors — find, sort, categorize, and distill the big data and vast amount of content that’s accessible to us.
It requires the human factor — someone with a pulse — to make sense of our collective informational chaos.
“When you add a human editorial layer, a curational perspective that organizes gathered content and community participation, you get real results.” [Steven Rosenbaum]
Savvy companies understand that content pulled from a plethora of sources should be categorized by curators who: http://bit.ly/JwDz0s ;
»»Know their audience, readers, and brands »»Keep abreast of trends in a specific niche »»Pay close attention to articles, chats, interviews, videos, and conversations »»Discern the junk from the gems »»Monitor trade associations and industry events »»Recognize news when it happens because their radar is always on and they trust their intuition »»Feel generally curious and enjoy soaking up information like a sponge »»Compile a series of valuable and reliable information knowing that their readers trust their judgment and enjoy the blend of quality content they gather »»Understand that by doing these tasks on a regular basis they become a credible source of content and news within a specific area »»Become the people who decide what’s worthy of your time and attention
Setting the record straight:
Curators vs. Aggregators
Aggregation is automated and gathers records based on metadata or keywords.
Aggregators can’t evaluate individual pieces of content and make editorial decisions.
This is where talented Curators shine.
All of these elements, separately and together, gradually build rapport, credibility, and loyalty between the Brand [Curator] and the Reader
That’s when the editor becomes the ‘go-to-guy.’ Having the information that other people need and want for their own success.
Journalists have been curating content for years. It’s always been an integral part of newsgathering. We may not have called it curation, but we were doing it all the same. In fact curation is an essential part of our job.
Here are some excerpts from this interesting article published on PandoDaily:
"Some publishers – namely AP, AFP, and Rupert Murdoch – have long taken umbrage with Google, whom they have accused of leeching off of newspapers’ content. Cantankerous Murdoch has called Google “content kleptomaniacs.”
Now, politicians and newspapers in Europe and South America are engaging in fresh revolts.
Their reasoning: When Google News offers a headline and part of the first paragraph of a story, users are less inclined to click through to read the actual article.
One possibility is that Google News is in decline because of converging digital trends that are lessening its influence. The Web’s big shift to mobile coupled with the explosion of social sharing, the increasing importance of human-powered curation, and tougher competition may be making the now old-school aggregator less potent.
There are a lot of strong forces at play in the ever-tumultuous news industry that could compromise Google News’ dominance. First, we now live in the Age of Mobile, and it’s not clear how well Google News performs on smartphones. From its iOS search app, the “News” tab does sneak into the homescreen, in the form of a button in the bottom-right-hand corner, but it is not especially prominent.
Another challenge for Google News has been the emerging mania for curation. Spotify founder Daniel Ek said that the next step in the music company’s evolution will be helping people “make sense” of the abundant content.
He flagged the Pinterest-led curation wave as an important phenomenon. Pinterest proves that a mix of algorithms and human judgement can provide a superior content consumption experience.
Indeed, there’s evidence to suggest that many Web users are becoming more curatorial in their consumption habits, a point supported not only by Pinterest’s rise, but also by the growing prevalence of services such as Foursquare’s “Explore” feature, Twitter’s “Discover” section, Reddit, HotelTonight, Longform, Longreads.
As mobile and apps accelerate the proliferation and accessibility of content, it’s likely that we’re going to rely more heavily on filters to navigate this era of abundance.
Finally, these days Google News just faces much more competition than ever before, from startups, apps, websites, and even traditional publishers, who have become more digitally savvy. Now that we’re in an era in which reading on smartphones and tablets is a norm, apps such as Flipboard, Pulse, Feedly, Prismatic, Zite, Flud, and Sumly, just to name a few, are all vying for attention, providing news reading experiences that are not only competitive with Google News but also better looking.
This means that readers have more, and sometimes better, options for discovering and reading news, and publishers have other viable traffic-generating options. Perhaps that is why publishers in Europe and Brazil are acting now to slay the search beast. They sense a vulnerability that Google News didn’t have even a year ago..."
Curation was the word on marketers’ lips earlier this year. This report from Altimeter in March confirmed “Curation is taking over the digital content scene.”
In recent weeks that’s given way to “visual content” as the trending topic. As CMO.com said in August: “Two years ago, marketers were spreading the maxim that “content is king,” but now, it seems, “a picture really is worth a thousand words”.
So now the question is how to bring curation and visual content together in ways that attract your target audience and achieve your measurable goals.
Here are 4 examples of successful visual curation anfd tips on how to go about it.
Ileane first discovered curation through an old curation tool. At first, she really liked it, and began doing a few tutorials on it. What caught her the most about curation? The fact that you could say more than twitter, but you also had the community feel. Though this site no longer exists, Ileane says that she still has connections with people she met there.
When she began using curation more, she began to appreciate that she could collect things by topic and save them in other places than her own repository. Finding existing experts on certain topics was fascinating to Ileane. More importantly, though, she also discovered that curation is a great way to establish your own expertise and to demonstrate that you are the authority on a particular topic.
Uberflip have released this Infographic about the rise of content curation as a content marketing strategy, showing that curation can be used to increase visibility, boost SEO, and establish thought leadership – all in a cost-effective way and with limited resources.
Key Takeaways: - Creating original content is the biggest obstacle for 73% of content marketers. - 75% of marketers cannot justify spending the time needed to create original content for their audience. - There are a variety of tools developed within the past 3 years that can help marketers and content curators gather the most relevant content, re-purpose it, and present it to their audience in unique ways. - 85% of brands use content curation to establish thought leadership, and 80% say it enables them to increase brand visibility
I was honored to write a feature article in the recent issue of the NTEN journal called "The Unanticipated Benefits of Content Curation: Reducing Information Overload." I'll be doing a FREE webinar on Thursday, July 12 at 11 am PST to walk you through...
"Over the past few years I must have heard the phrase ‘everyone is a publisher nowadays’ a thousand times or more. It’s largely accurate, due to the rise of social media, but I think we are mainly ‘curators’, as opposed to ‘publishers’.
Content curation is something that many of us will be familiar with, even if we don’t think of ourselves as curators. We instinctively find and share interesting content with our personal and professional networks. We follow others who share the kind of links that engage and entertain.
Here are my 17 tips to help you become even better at content curation, with one eye on Twitter:
One thing I discovered (by subjective observation) is that many users are not really curating. They are aggregating lots of images.
There is a "repin" button - like the Twitter RT button. There seems to be a lot of user behavior that people just repin the visuals into collections but do not provide context or conversation. The interface design does automatically document where the original image/visual was found.
I did find one collection that was from educator that was looking at curation tools and even here I noticed some entries not well citied or contextualized.