The great curation debate

Content curation has been quite the debate as curation has changed from technologically based to being based on human subjectivity — the idea of creators vs. curators. It’s an interesting idea, but I think the notion of treating each as equally important is what it should really boil down to.

In the process of this curation, I’ve had to scour many websites for relevant information. Mine was not a hot commodity topic, and so there were a few select sources that really delved into social media journalism. I had to read a lot of articles to find ones that actually pertained. With all of that reading, I gained a great appreciation for the creators, those who spend time doing the research and putting together such informative pieces. Without them, there would be no content to begin with.

At the same time, the act of going out there and finding the articles made me realize how difficult curation was. Maybe not for topics that appear more in the news and everyday reports, but for more obscure topics, it takes work to find relevant and plentiful articles. Curations allow someone who is curious about a specific topic to get all the up-to-date information about that topic in one place, conveniently and efficiently. Knowing how difficult that is without having an already-made curation, as I found out in creating my own, helps me to appreciate curations all the more.

I do think there is a balance when curating, though, between giving the reader an idea of what’s going on in the field, sending them on to other articles and ripping off the creators. I’ve read curations that give them entire synopsis of the article it links to, giving the reader to reason to click on and explore the original article. I think there is an art to curation, to giving just enough information to peak a reader’s interest without encroaching on the creator’s hard work.

For this reason, I think the curations that are the best are those that have the shortest posts and that quickly move you along to the different websites and different articles that came at the hands of the hard-working creator.

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History of social media

While this post from the Poyter Institute’s E-Media Tidbits doesn’t necessarily outline how to use social media in journalism, it’s interesting because it looks at the history of social media and how it advances and grows. This is important to understand because in order to truly comprehend how a platform works and where the trends are heading, you must understand where it came from. This is one way to grasp that.

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Student journalist try their hands at innovation

In a contest at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, students compete to get creative in making apps for different platforms, as this post details. Contests like these are important, especially for journalism students, because it pushes the limits on what is and what isn’t journalism. It forces students to think outside the box, and with so much of journalism changing and evolving to fit society, this is a necessary tool. It also teaches students to think in terms of apps and social media, which is extremely important in today’s journalism.

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Student journalism from the Droid

This year, about two dozen journalism students at Ryerson University in Toronto were given Android cell phones with the intention that they would do all of their journalism from the phone, cites this article on the MediaShift website. This includes social media journalism and posting to a class blog. So much of on-the-go journalism these days is done via phones, and as the tides of the field shift, it’s important to know how to use this kind of reporting successfully. This article shows how this one group of students navigated the task and is an interesting look at what that kind of journalism is like.

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Google’s ‘most shared’ adds to social media fix

According to this post from LostRemote, Google News has added a ‘Most Shared’ application to its interface, allowing readers to see what articles have been shared the most among social networks. Nowadays, there are many different avenues in which to share stories, videos, pictures and more. This is just another thing that shows how embedded social media is in journalism and how important it is for those in the journalism field to understand it.

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Social media curation… isn’t that what we’re doing here?

Mark Luckie never ceases to amaze me, and with this post about curation, he really speaks to exactly what this blog is doing. He walks through five basic ideas to think about when curating a topic in journalism: standard coverage, breaking and developing news, contextual content during live coverage, curating feedback and research, sharing and collaboration. He outlines each of these things and explains how they can be better approached to create a solid curation.

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Facebook has more than 250 million users a day

In this Mashable Social Media post, it reports that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg claims the social network has 500 million users, and more than half of them use Facebook every day. This is huge for the world of social media journalism because it shows just how important it really is. With a medium that provides such a large reach — the population of the United States is 310,232,863, so that’d be like if 80 percent of the U.S. population is on Facebook every day — it is important that those in the journalism world understand social media journalism and how to use it properly and effectively.

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