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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