Curating The Net

I always had a fascination with curation. Content Marketers have ruined this word, and the art of exhibiting the best works of others has been lost to some degree. The Internet makes it so easy to make a "Top 10" of any particular topic. Curation has been automated away and I suspect content marketers have written scripts to automate curation such that it has lost all meaning.

Since the Internet is a veritable firehose of information, it makes sense for Buzzfeed, and countless other blogs to keep lists cheapened and not especially authoritative. There are infact, very few 'goto' spots on the net for high-quality, choice round-ups of information. Some would argue that's changing with sites like The Latest.

Others would say curation is not a hard problem since we have sites like Pinboard which categorize and 'folksonomize' the whole net. I would argue otherwise, and claim as soon as information is automatically abstracted away to a silo, or portal, the information is no longer hand-picked, or curated. It's forgotten about - and it doesn't have a home, or a context to live in. The Latest, at least has context - we know why we're here consuming this information.

Curating things is painstaking and can be just as arduous as painting, or designing something. Usually a curator has to sift through large volumes of work and by mere process of elimination, pick the diamond from the rough. That's hard work. The curator has to run with their decision. Selecting an item can not be arbitrary. There must be a story and solid reason behind each selection. The curator has to have taste. Taste should not be overly subjective, or biased; it should be refined and built up over time.