Curation is not simply aggregation. In the latter links are automatically generated to specific content. With curation thought’s are generated for the purpose of giving context. This must be done by a human being. Curation is providing building blocks such as trust, credibility and uniformity, to name just a few. Simply put curation is adding value and dynamics to the human condition.
These building blocks do a couple important things very well, one of which is relationship building, another is creating contextual networks. Some might say these are interest graphs, but a contextual network is far superior to an interest graph, an interest graph is really just another buzz word these days.
How is this contextual network done? Well it is all about creating inter-dynamic relationships. Birds of a feather will flock together, all of us have heard that before. With an inter-dynamic relationship a complex and sophisticated Eco-system will evolve and become a contextual network.
Do you remember a time when you had a heated conversation with someone? Or how about an engaging conversation with someone about something? Perhaps it was a hot political issue, or maybe an event, or you were just two people talking about a book, or movie that you had read or scene.
Often times what you like and dislike about something has as much to do with your own personal set of life experiences as it does the actual topic. This is why we often agree or disagree. It is also why there is a much deeper meaning into our own personal likes and dislikes, it sets the tone for your own personal desires and tastes.
Sharing a link to Twitter that you are recommending to your followers is curation. Posting to Facebook or Google + is curating. The difference is often times the conversations that need to get started with this kind of curation simply never happen.
A tweet is easily overlooked and has a very short life span. A Facebook post is edged out these days in EdgeRank. The desired effect is simply not taking place, a spark may happen, but the spark never turns into that flame or becomes a heated, or passionate discussion.
The signal to noise ratio is all wrong, and it is as if we are unable to hear the conversation because of the band playing crazy music in the background. To achieve a collective intelligence, which I believe is a good thing and is possible with the technology we already have, we must fix the signal to noise ratio, and curation is a tool to make that happen.
Now there are plenty of opinions and heated discussions taking place on the Internet you might say, the thing is how many are from people that you actually know, like and trust? Part of the problem I believe is that we are getting lazy.
The abundance of eye candy via sites like Pinterest, and the excess amounts of content are making us have a false utopia. The ability to just fire away a less then well thought out comment, to a group of people that don’t know us, and honestly could probably care less what we think is just running rampart.
It is much easier to read something and hit the tweet button or just Google + 1 it, I do this too and it takes very little effort. Other then the fact that you still must take the time to read the piece. (I hope so).
Content producers work very hard to produce great content. Producing fantastic content takes time and they should reap the rewards, but please don’t forget that they earn them. Curation is no different. If you want to be a curator and be successful at it well then you will have to work hard at it, just like anything else. If you want curation to work for you, then you must put the time in, and do it the correct way. There are no short cuts to success, in life or anything.
With this being said and in the spirit of curation, I would also like to share a Storify Twitter chat conversation that will shed some more light on the thought processes people are having about curation.
Content Curator Tom George
Head of Inbound Advertising North America at Internet Billboards. Pioneering inbound advertising as well as an avid content curator who enjoys finding those digital gems out there in cyberspace and sharing them with others.