Curation: Not Really Understood Yet

Curation: Not Really Understood Yet image content curation huh1content curation huh?We’ve already said many times: content curation is getting more and more press, more buzz, more time. But it’s not new, and it shouldn’t be so misunderstood. Curated content is what you’re getting at Google News. You understand that, right? Just think a minute: does Google write all those news stories? Nope. So what’s the service Google News is providing you? They DISCOVER the content (written by others), they FILTER the content (to build your trust, they try to eliminate junk), they ORGANIZE the content (tag it so you can search by topic, location, etc.), and then they DELIVER it to you in an easy-to-manage presentation. That’s curation.

Content Curation Not Understood (but it should be!)

Here’s another example of helpful curation: the radio. Did the DJ write the music? Did the Station produce the music? Of course not! But they discovered it, filtered it, organized it for you (Jazz, Country, Rock, etc.) and then delivered it to you in an easy-to-manage Curation: Not Really Understood Yet image huh11Curation: Not Really Understood Yetpresentation.

Content curation is the same thing. And it is more and more necessary given the amount of content being thrown at us today. For example, bloggers create 900,000 new articles every day (yeah, enough to fill 19 years worth of NY Times copy; every single day!).

But people seem to be inclined to speak against the practice of curation. I think they’re usually speaking against abuses of curation (plagiarism, spam, etc.). Anyway, Steven Rosenbaum (founder and CEO of Magnify.net) wrote a great article called, Stop Knocking Curation, as a response to the Atlantic Wire’s decision to include our beloved “curation” in their list of 2012′s worst words!

Steve says,

“Information overload drives content consumers to look for human filtered, journalist vetted, intellectually related material. This hunger for coherence isn’t unreasonable; it’s essential. And for some of us who think and write every day, gathering bits of thread that can then be elegantly knit into a thoughtful narrative isn’t cheating, or lazy. Far from it. Curating is in many ways harder than writing (at least good curating). It’s far easier for me to write 500 words from my head than to find themes and sources and tie them into a broader narrative.

Now, my issue with the state of curation—and its current promiscuity—finds a larger group of users who have misappropriated the word and the core concepts that make curation so appealing.

Curation’s genesis was to create a word for a practice that was emerging over the past two years to filter the overabundance of signal, and create quality, thoughtful, human-organized collections.”

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