Robin Good: "A throwdown about the term "curator"". This is the title that Suse Cairns gave to her recent article, in which she opens by writing: "Lately, questions about the bastardisation of the term curator have been emerging around the blogosphere.
The Hermitage Museum wrote An Open Letter to Everyone Using the Word ‘Curate’ Incorrectly on the Internet, and Digital Transformations recently asked whether DJs are curators, and vice versa.
Their opening volley caught my attention:
"The word ‘curator’ gets used liberally these days to talk about stuff people do on the web. But does that devalue the term?
Is there any way what someone does on Facebook is comparable to the years of training and knowledge which goes into curating collections in museums and galleries?"
I believe that if Suse Cairns had the opportunity to see the real work that goes into professional content or news curation, she would not hesitate an instant in recognizing how skilled and experienced a person must be, in several disciplines, to even consider attempting doing such a job.
On the other hand, I can't but agree with her colleagues who are pulling their hair in disgust when they see people proudly "picking" and republishing other people content "as is" while defining themselves as "curators".
I must also convene with her complaining colleagues that curation has little or nothing to do with personal expression and social sharing, two reputable and valuable activities, which can be carried out with similar tools, but which require very different skills and time, and which have very little in common beyond the immediate surface.
If one does not look or pay attention at these small details it is very easy to get caught into misleading generalizations (content curation is useless, etc.).
I am actually pointing to this article, not so much for the good effort that Suse Cairns to reconciliate traditional museum curators with the new self-acclaimed content curators, but for the excellent series of comments that her short article did spark.
Among them, I have excerpted this little gem from Suse herself: "I’m reading Stephen E. Weil’s Rethinking the Museum, and there is a section that seems entirely appropriate to this discussion.
On page 53, Weil discusses the work of John Cotton Dana, and writes “In his 1917 book The New Museum, Dana urged that museums of the future make a special effort to attract the young and to interest them in making collections of their own – collections that they might ultimately share with the public. This development of the collecting habit, he wrote:
“...with its accompanying education of powers of observation, its training in handiwork, its tendency to arouse interests theretofore unsuspected even by those who possess them, its continuous suggestions toward good taste and refinement which lie in the process of installing even the most modest of collections, and its leaning towards sound civic interest through doing for one’s community a helpful thing – this work of securing the co-operation of boys and girls, making them useful while they are gaining their own pleasure and carrying on their own education, is one of the coming museum’s most promising fields.”"
With this idea in mind, maybe this idea of collecting or “curating” online – even if it were only simple list-making – can be seen as an interesting, useful and positive thing."
Content marketing productivity takes more than creating great content. Here's how to track your favorite content ideas on an idea dashboard.
Content productivity or Curating Content involves tracking and applying the good ideas you find in the blog posts you read each week.
These contain a staggering amount of information and good ideas.
A lot of information to absorb and catalog for future reference.
When you add ideas you find across the web, social communities and other media, your information management tasks can quickly become overwhelming.
Roger Parker has come up with this solution to track the consuming tsunami of valuable ideas, strategies, and tips.
An easy way to increase comprehension of individual posts plus a way to quickly and easily relocate important posts in the future.
Roger C. Parker's idea dashboard helps you monitor ideas worthy of further study and should satisfy the following criteria:
Relevance: Your idea dashboard doesn’t need to list every blog post, just those you’re most likely to want to revisit. Brevity: Enough information to summarize the post and its key ideas, providing a reason for you to click the link back to the original post. Ease of use: Easy to update. Ideally, you should be able to add references to new posts in under 10 minutes. It includes a visual component. Must be “scannable;” i.e., able to select relevant posts at a glance. Search-ability: easily search, or filter, your dashboard to locate the information you’re looking for as quickly as possible. Flexibility: Must be easy to rearrange your dashboard to reflect your changing interests or priorities.
With these criteria in mind, there are three steps involved in setting up and maintaining your idea dashboard.
Step 1: Choose your key categories
Selectivity is the key to success: Selectivity involves self-curation — identifying topics that are most relevant to you.
Step 2: Choose the right format - Your two primary options are spreadsheets (like Excel, or Google Docs) and mind maps.
Step 3: Update daily - Part of your daily ritual. Consistency is extremely important
This article was curated by Robin Good who used to point out the difference between sharing and curation - and how curation is actually closer to content curation. Jan Gordon also highlighted the post with a call to action to content curations. When two important curators here on Scoop.It call an article about our practice to our attention, we should read it, and consider how to apply the ideas to our practice.
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.
Robin Good: Feeed is a simple and elegant web-service which allows you to easily create a Pinterest-like visual magazine by aggregating any number of blogs or RSS feeds.
Just input the URL of your blog, Twitter channel, and any other site or feed you may want to include (up to 8) and Feeed will automatically aggregate and display all of the incoming content into a neat visual page.
"Take everything you like to read – blogs, news, art and more – and get it all delivered to a site designed especially for you, by you."
Feeed.co can also be utilized as your personal news dashboard by making it easier for you to check and monitor your favorite RSS feeds on Feeed visual display. It is possible to see both all of the feeds aggregated into one as well as any individual feed alone.
The basic service is free to use and the Plus version costing $39/year allows you to: a) add up to 40 feeds,
b) use your own domain name,
c) mix'n'match colors to make your own custom theme, and
"Curation can solve the problem of abundance online, Steven Rosenbaum explained at the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City. While creative professionals occasionally disagree with curation, it's a way for site owners to present strong material to site visitors and cut through the clutter.
"Content curators are distributors of collections," explained Rosenbaum.
That's the abundance problem. If you went ahead and made all the curators in the world go away, you'd still have this signal-to-noise problem that we laid out at the beginning of the talk. So, absolutely no way is curation the thing that is the enemy of creation."
A well-planned content curation strategy doesn't simply present a list of videos to site visitors. It presents a collection with personality. When curating materials to present, think about the persona that makes that collection unique..."
via Robin Good: Picsho is a free web app which allows you to search for images on Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitpic (and on other services too) by using simple hashtags, and to pull in your favorite ones into a public image board on the web that can be shared with anyone.
Robin Good: Brett Sandusky attacks the "discovery" topic with simple, straight logic, analyzing what all the new startups and the new tech fanatics seem to systematically look over.
How can you help me discover new stuff, if you are intentionally limiting your exploratory gathering to algorithms and to, however varied, network of contacts?
She writes: "The discoverability problem in books is a challenge. It’s about connecting users to new and interesting titles, that they wouldn’t normally have seen. This last part bears repeating: …that they wouldn’t normally have seen.
Ultimately, the problem with all these discoverability sites is this: their algorithms (if they are even using an algorithm) are based on aggregate data in a one size fits all model.
The more people who read something, the more often it shows up in your recommendations. But, that’s not discoverability. That’s the NYT bestseller list. That’s Nielsen Bookscan telling you the top sales of the week.
Just because most of my friends are reading bestsellers (because, duh, whose aren’t? In fact, that seems to just reinforce the concept of the term “bestseller”) does that mean I should only be shown these titles?
Obviously, the answer is no. But, how do we get there?"
The answer is that we need a) more expert and qualified human intervention to unearth and pick new stuff, and b) behavioral data coupled with data collected on customer preference to allows us to connect those selected materials to the users in the system.
But nonprofits and others always appreciate the comprehensive, well curated and classified list. This is it!
Robin Good: Everytime I see a new post or article claiming to list the best content curation tools I know I am in for some disappointment.
Most of these lists just pick up names from other lists without even bothering to check, test or verify what these tools actually do, whether they are still available. Unfortunately the rush to put out "curated" list of tools and services has created more misinformation than useful lists.
But if you, like me, are on the lookout for new and effective tools to curate your own content or the one of your customers, I have created a comprehensive map of all the curation tools available online and I keep it fresh and updated almost on a daily basis.
The map presently lists over 250 content curation tools which you can navigate much more easily than it was possible on my earlier versions of this map.
On the right side of the map you will find all of the news and content curation tools available online today. On the left side, you can find bookmarking, link lists builders, clippers and lots of tools to operate with RSS feeds (which are still at the heart of a curator's job).
Robin Good selected this post, well worth reading the post and Howard's book as well.
Robin Good: Participatory culture writer and book author Henry Jenkins interviews cyberculture pioneer Howard Rheingold (Net Smart, 2012) by asking him to explain some of the concepts that have helped him become a paladin of the and "new literacies" so essential for survival in the always-on information-world we live in today.
This is part three of a long and in-depth interview (Part 2, Part 1) covering key concepts and ideas as the value of "community" and "networks", the architecture of participation, affinity working spaces, and curation.
Here is a short excerpt of Howard response to a question about curation and its value as both a “fundamental building block” of networked communities and as an important form of participation:
Howard Rheingold: "...at the fundamental level, curation depends on individuals making mindful and informed decisions in a publicly detectable way.
Certainly just clicking on a link, “liking” or “plussing” an item online, adding a tag to a photograph is a lightweight element that can be aggregated in valuable ways (ask Facebook).
But the kind of curation that is already mining the mountains of Internet ore for useful and trustworthy nuggets of knowledge, and the kind that will come in the future, has a strong literacy element.
Curators don’t just add good-looking resources to lists, or add their vote through a link or like, they summarize and contextualize in their own words, explicitly explain why the resource is worthy of attention, choose relevant excerpts, tag thoughtfully, group resources and clearly describe the grouping criteria."
In other words, "curators" are the ones creating the metadata needed to empower our emerging collective intelligence.
Curation Is The Social Choice About What Is Worth Paying Attention To.
If you are doing content curation, you are also probably doing some content creation, building content out of aggregated pieces. So if content curation is like collecting and organizating your legos, there is also a part to make sense of the collection - build something out of the smaller pieces. For example, a presentation or article or blog post.
So, you need a method or to organize a part of your collection or smaller collection to prep this content. This is an "idea dashboard" -- Evernote is a great for this if you a rext person and using curation to write. There are also visual ways to organized too.
The description of what's in this e-book:
Evernote brings order to that chaos. Everything you need to remember can now be stored in your Evernote account for future browsing and searching.
Mark O’Neill, editor at MakeUseOf , takes you through everything you need to know about Evernote:
What are the best apps for Evernote? Is a premium account worth it? What are the best add-ons/plugins for Evernote? All the best tips and tricks.