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What is curation in our Web 2.0 world?



Fig.1. Apples from the Barton Orchard

First of all understand the derivation of curation from the Italian and pick not ‘caring’ for, as in caring in the medical sense for a person, but ‘curato’ – the cared for. Curation used to require a critical process – a curator in the critical sense, would decide at an intellectual level what a theme or a journey should be. Curation is also a process, a collection of choices and acts.

How does curation of art, or of artefacts in a museum compare to the way we have hijacked the term to describe what is done online where someone (are they ever a team?) make choices regarding the aggregation of content on a theme, with an audience or users in mind. At what point does this curation become marketing, or editing or re-blogging rather than this intellectual act where the value you add are the choices you make about what to put in and what to leave out?

And surely curation is diluted even further if a clever piece of software, because of feeds you suggest, words you put in or boxes you tick comes up with the content for you?

Wikipedia Definition : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curator

Digital Curation : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_curation

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