“My first job was as a DJ, and it consisted of lots of curation. I would go to record stores and be handed a pile of singles. I would listen through them all, and purchase the best ones. Once at home I would listen to them again, and catalogue them in different themes. While performing I had to stay in tune with my audience. Sometimes they wanted to slow down and at other times they wanted to hype up.”
I have been a small independent publisher since the turn of the century. I help the small guy to find the best way to use new technology to communicate effectively and become independent of the traditional system.
How would you define the role of the curator?
The curator is someone who is a subject matter expert that finds interesting stuff, contextualizes it, and makes it useful for a specific tribe.
What topics do you curate?
I am passionate about web publishing tools and content curation. I am also interested in visual representation, data representation, online video publishing, and online business models.
How would you describe the curation process?
1) First you have discover where to capture information. You need to define your keywords and topics, and based on them create persistent searches and alert. You can also subscribe to newsletters and regularly visit places like Facebook groups and forums.
2) Once you aggregate and gather this information you need to pick what is relevant.
3) At the last stage you need to transform the item you are curating to make it as valuable as possible to your audience. You can do this by personalizing the title, highlighting what is relevant, providing additional information, and links to related content.
To be a good curator you should not simply copy-paste and re-post content with a new title. It’s all about adding value and translating it for your tribe.
Do you agree that curation is like dumpster diving?
(Note: This question relates to my prior blog post about the role of curators as tribal influencers and bankers)
The process of curation is really garbage-like. I have to go through tons of garbage to find good stuff. If it wasn’t a challenge then it wouldn’t appeal to me. I like exploring and finding stuff.
What do you think about the future of peer-to-peer collaboration?
I really believe that it belongs to the future. We also need more of this exchange offline and locally. I also think that we will place a greater value in sharing ethics and values with the curators we listen to.
How can companies get better at curating?
Companies need to become more transparent and less concerned with talking about themselves. This goes a long way towards changing how they share online.
Where can people connect with you online?