Content Curators as Cultural Intermediaries: “My reputation as a curator is based on what I curate, right?”
In 2011 The Economist alerted us to the claim that “digital data will flood the planet.” The exponential increase in data such as e-mails, Tweets and Instagram pictures underpins claims that we are living in an age of ‘infoglut’ (Andrejevic) and information superabundance (Internet Live Stats). Several years earlier, Shirky posed this as an issue not of “information overload” but of “filter failure” (Asay). Shirky’s claim suggests that we should not despair in the face of unmanageable volumes of content, but develop ways to make sense of this information – to curate.
Reflecting on his experiences of curating the Meltdown Festival, David Byrne addressed the emergence of everyday curating practices: “Nowadays, everything and everyone can be curated. There are curators of socks, menus and dirt bike trails […] Anyone who has come up with a top-ten list is, in effect, a curator. And anyone who clicks ‘Like’ is a curator.”