He looked her straight in the eye and asked, “Do you curate well?”

The Curator

He looked her straight in the eye and asked, “Do you curate well?”

She replied, confidently, “Yes, of course. I’ve been doing it for years.”

“Years?” he questioned. “You’re only twenty-two; I’m thirty-four and I just learned about the importance of web curation a year ago.”

“Too bad. You should have gone to The University of Tennessee-Knoxville and taken Instructional Design Technology with Dr. Miriam Larson. That’s where I learned about Curation.”

And, so did I, as a central aspect of my final design project for 570 Instructional Design Technology. My team’s project objective was to design a training course to introduce university instructors and faculty to the benefits of an online Personal Learning Environment (PLE) to enhance traditional face-to-face courses. To meet rigorous higher-education standards a major component of our project focused on web curation. We wanted to ensure the future PLEs our participants created would epitomize instructional quality and usefulness.

The technological world is a new environment for me so my first take on the word curation was how could a term that denotes an individual whose vocation is related to either religion or a museum find its way into the www lexicon? The editors of Merriam-Webster.com/dictionary, often my go-to source for primary information, are out of the loop on the word’s contemporary meanings. Jessica Backus, a disenchanted M-W reader, Jessica Backuscommented:

Would love for Merriam-Webster to address this: Not only does “curation” refer to concrete practices of digital curation, or a human making a selection (i.e. Gilt Group) as opposed to relying on taste-prediction algorithms a la Netflix, Amazon, etc., “curation” has become the word par excellence to describe a thoughtful selection of inspiration in today’s unwieldy and diverse cultural and media landscape. 

Jessica nailed it. Her take on curation probably stems in part from the 2009 seminal blog post, “Manifesto for the Content Curator” by Rohit Bhargava, a marketer, author, speaker, Rubit Bharavahprofessor, and self-avowed nice guy. The post articulates for the first time the 5 models of content curation. The 43,400,000 results from a Google search of the 5 models of content curation attest to its broad influence. His 2011 follow up blog, “The 5 Models of Content Curation,” Bhargava refines and extends the original concept. This is a graphical rendering/summary of The 5 Models of Content Curation.

Content Curation graphic

  • Beth Kanter, another well-regarded blogger in the field, posts her take on Content Curation. In that article she also posts a table inspired by another contemporary theorist, Harold Jarche. The table, “The Ideal Content Curation Practice,” captures the essence of the field’s overarching mandate: seek, sense, share.

Jarche chart

  • During my own exploration to seek, sense, and share about Content Curation, I stumbled across innumerable sites and blog posts which explore the topic and its implications for the future in great depth. A handful of my favorites are listed below. Those blogs list other sites as well. I have one favorite site. It’s created and maintained by Gretel Patch,

Gretl Patcha Master of Educational Technology student at Boise State University and wife of an American diplomat stationed in Nepal. Gretel’s site is her professional and academic portfolio. It’s a clean, well-designed site with rich content and interesting educational and instructional ideas. The Curation blog features a 15-item Curation Checklist, created Gretel and two of her classmates.  Her post also features an interesting video with interviews with leading Content Curators, produced by Percolate, a high-flying marketing company that “helps brands create content at social scale.”

  • Other blog sites that provide stimulating reading about the burgeoning field of Content Creation are:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/awake-the-wheel/201103/is-content-curation-the-new-black

http://www.webbythoughts.com/content-curation-tools-resource/

http://engage.synecoretech.com/marketing-technology-for-growth/bid/134987/What-Is-Content-Curation-and-Why-Do-I-Need-It

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/scoop-this-a-comprehensive-guide-to-scoop-it-for-content-curation/38963/

http://www.socialbrite.org/2012/08/27/top-tools-for-content-curation/

http://pinterest.com/nickilincha/curation-tools/

http://www.iloveseo.net/content-curation-definition-and-generation/

http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/06/content-marketing-curation-context/

http://community.paper.li/2012/03/07/why-a-content-curator-is-not-an-editor/

http://www.fastcompany.com/1834177/content-curators-are-new-superheros-web

http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2009/09/manifesto-for-the-content-curator-the-next-big-social-media-job-of-the-future.html

http://curatorscode.org/

http://www.bethkanter.org/content-curation-101/

http://pleconf.org/program/sessions/a10/

http://gretelpatch.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/curation-ponderings/

http://d20innovation.d20blogs.org/2012/07/07/understanding-content-curation/

  • Curation Tools On another pertinent and practical note, the all-important curation tools. Curation tools allow novices to look like pros and bring to fruition any idea they have, and pros, well, to do what they do best. I curated this list from http://www.seosandwitch.com/2012/06/content-curation.html. It’s the most complete list I’ve seen.

1- Scoop.it

2- Curata

3- Curationsoft

4- Paper.li

5- Googlereader

6- Pinterest

7- Mytweetmag

8- Bundlr

9- Netvibes

10- Newspin

11- Utopic

12- Trapit

13- Faveous

14- Collected

15- Kweeper

16- Pinboard

17- Tweetedtimes

18- Iflow

19- Pearltrees

20- Yoolink.fr

21- Retickr

22- Historio.us

23- Shariest

24- Memolane

25- News.me

26- Stribe

27- Getprismatic

28- Zootool

29- Bagtheweb

30- Bonzobox

31- Skloog

32- Crayon

33- Mysyndicaat

34- Mediaheroes

35- Yourversion

36- Pageonecurator

37- Digg

38- Zemanta

39- Chirpstory

40- Snip.it

41- Trailmeme

42- Qrait

43- Sphinn

44- Technorati

45- Flipboard

46- Storify

47- Newsmix.me

48- Diigo

49- Flocker

50- Dropmark

51- Schoox

52- Feedly

53- AtomicReach

and, I’ll add a 54th. Ta-da! WordPress has its own curation tool, called MyCurator http://www.target-info.com/ exclusively for WordPress users.

  • Well-curated sites I’ll leave you with four examples of what others and I deem well-curated sites, There are hundreds more out there. Send me your favorites.

http://pinterest.com/MercedesBenz/

http://www.scoop.it/t/story-and-narrative

http://www.powerlineblog.com/

http://www.elearninglearning.com/kirkpatrick/taxonomy/

Well, that’s all, folks. Happy curating!

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