Thursday, February 07, 2008

the semantics of digital curation

I came across a reference to a blog posting entitled "The Digital Curator in Your Future." Not being familiar with the blog or its context, the first thing I thought was that this would likely be a post on digital curation, the evolving discipline around data curation and preservation. The phrase "digital curation" is all the rage these days.

Nope. This was a posting about online brand success, discussing the need for the intellectual curation, where subject experts "separate junk from art" in the online arena, curating site content to present the most relevant and essential content for their community.

I think this was the last place I expected to encounter the word curator -- describing a vital role in niche market success. That said, I think the posting was absolutely right. Whether you call them editors or curators or guides or whatever, a site aimed at a certain community or representing a brand requires selection/filtering/editing to keep focus, as long as the site also provides some mechanism for community involvement and isn't just a top-down kind of information feed.

The comments were just as enlightening. Some commented that many sites have this sort of human curation. Some commented that they use digg or delicious as an automated curation tool of sorts to locate what others have already identified as being of value (even though the posting explicitly posited that digg is not curation, it's aggregation). Some argued that it has to be expert and human to be effective curation. An interesting discussion.

No comments: