Curation is a form of storytelling. Curation tools need to support this truth.
Collecting content without qualitative human judgement is aggregation, not curation. The best automation tools alone will never replace the ability of a human being to provide meaningful context. And the best curation, the curation I subscribe to via email, takes context to the next level. It tells a story. This post is being written, primarily to serve as an example of what I’m calling “social curation.” The act of curating a conversation, like the one that took place this morning at #tschat, should be a storytelling act.
Elliot Harmon – @elliotharmon
RT @linkedcontent: @herdpress Curation does not tell the story, you must, and use the curated content for context or support #tschat
I certainly think Elliot is right on point. Curation, in and of itself, is not telling a story. I often follow links to pages on Paper.li or Scoop.it and find a myriad of excerpts with no connective story. The examples provided below are fairly typical. There is an collection of stories with excerpts, but the story telling side of the curation process is left to short header remarks and sidebar quotes. Is that enough?
This leaves me with questions. The question I often end up asking myself is this, “where do I want to send people when I’m curating content?” And, “can I effectively tell the story there the way I want to tell the story?” I believe I only have so many opportunities to engage someone in the social space, where do I want to send them when I finally do?
There is a concept in fundraising called “donor fatigue.” It’s a real a phenomenon in which people stop giving to a charity or charities, even if they have given to those charities in the past. In a very real sense, I believe supporters in ANY online community, charity or otherwise, experience a form of donor fatigue when it comes to clicking on links shared by the people they follow. The quality of the link, and in this case, the quality of the storytelling, becomes a key factor in whether they will continue to click on your links. Are they being sent to an experience that looks and feels like every other experience, or are they being sent to a unique experience that tells your story unlike any other?
Like me, @techsoup is curating the #tschat stream on curation. (It’s very meta. I’ve simply chosen a different curation tool to tell a different story. Still, every act of curation is a storytelling exercise, whether you use a tool hosted on a third-party site, like Pinterest or Storify, or whether you choose to use tools that allow you to self-host your curation. In the end, the story is what matters. It’s what has always mattered. Have I told a story, or have I simply collected a bunch of links?
Robin Campbell – @Robncampbell
Filtering and curating content well requires a mix of automation tools and human curation. There’s no 1 tool yet #tschat
“Curating content well requires a mix of automation tools and human curation.” This is a fact. There is no one tool that gets it all right and there will likely never be one tool that provides all of the different styles of curation necessary. But the questions we need to be asking about any tool all center around that story. Can I tell a story, or am I just collecting excerpts and links and gathering them all in one place? Do the tools bring the value of the human filter front and center? In the end, what we’re really looking for are the stories that only humans can tell.