Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

More Thoughts On Curation And Rescuing Content From The Obscurity Of The Timeline...

Posted by Tom Foremski - April 29, 2011

Last week I wrote about the tyranny of the timeline and how good content disappears once it is pushed off the home page and into the archives.

[How Curation Can Rescue Great Content From The Tyranny Of The Timeline - SVW]

Of course, the content is still there in the archives, it is reachable, and it is searchable; but only if you know it is there.

Search is an awkward instrument for retrieving content in an archive, simply because you often don't know what is in the archive.

Search is great for finding specific items but it is terrible at surfacing great content.

Maybe one of these days we will be able to ask a search engine to find "which are the best articles about curation?" Maybe search technology at Google, with its legions of experts, will one day be able to deal with such simple queries.

But in the meantime there is no sense in waiting when we have the curation tools to do it now.

Last week I wrote about how to use Pearltrees to collect your own content and save it from the obscurity of your archives.

(Of course, you can use other curation tools, but Pearltrees allows you to save literally anything online, and make it easily shareable with the single largest curation community, of more than 100,000 people.)

There is a much larger opportunity: curating great content from a variety of sources and saving it from obscurity.

This is an important job, and I see more and more people doing it: curating subjects that they care passionately about.

And you don't have to be a professional curator to do it. In a similar way that blogging meant that you didn't have to be a professional writer to publish your articles, curation today is a meritocracy: you are judged on the result and not on your qualifications.

I can curate my favorite essays from SVW, but if I curate my favorite essays from SVW, and other sites and sources, then my curation efforts are of much greater value.

And there's a lot of pleasure in curating across a broad range of sources. A curation of Picasso's works is wonderful, but a curation of Picasso and his contemporary artists, is even more wonderful.

Context always plays a key role shaping content, and curation is one of the best ways to capture context. But that's a topic for a future post...


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