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Are you already a curator?

Curation is a hot topic in regard to the internet but curation is nothing new — most of us do it without even thinking about it.

Tom Foremski: In Silicon Valley
Tom Foremski is a former Financial Times journalist and the Founder and Publisher of Silicon Valley Watcher, which is an online news site reporting on... More

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Take a look around your home and you will likely see many curations:

  • Your book shelf is probably a curated collection of your favourite books — you got rid of the ones you didn’t like.
  • Your coffee table or books in your living room. These are likely the books that you want your visitors to see, they say something about you, it is a carefully curated expression of you.
  • The same with your music. I know that most music collections are digital and live in your iTunes library but many people still love to show off their collections in their homes, especially their vinyl.
  • The artwork on your wall. Wall space is a limited commodity, so that means you’ve made some very deliberate choices.
  • Photo libraries. With digital photos so easy to take it is easy to amass a huge number of photos. This means you have to get rid of many photos because the collections become unmanageable very quickly. Your editing of your photo collection is a curation.
  • Browsing the internet you probably have your bookmarks, which is a curated list of web sites.

Curation appears to be a natural human activity. Collecting and displaying things is a common human trait across all societies.

But curation does require some sort of semi-permanent display platform. Books have bookshelves; paintings have walls; sculptures have pedestals.

Curating the internet isn’t very useful unless the curation can be built on a platform that enables others to view, browse, collect, and connect.

It is only fairly recently that we’ve gotten the tools for effective curation on the internet. This year you will see a flood of curation tools and services. Which one will you use?