In a very short time curation has evolved from a minor supporting role to a major or even leading role in Social Media engagement. It is no longer sufficient to just share items of interest, breaking news and opinion, not if you want to be regarded as authentic and taken seriously.
Curation has many definitions, including my own: “Curation is the acquisition, evaluation, augmentation, exhibition, disposition and maintenance of digital information, usually centered around a specific topic or theme”. The Digital Curation Center (DCC) in the United Kingdom puts it more succinctly
Digital curation, broadly interpreted, is about maintaining and adding value to a trusted body of digital information for current and future use. (DCC)
Both definitions infer an information lifecyle process, that manages the digital objects from creation to deletion. Both suggest that capturing and adding value, whether by commentary or related material, is vital to the end product which is knowledge or information that can be referenced now and in the future.
However the evolution of digital curation is experiencing some fragmentation. Not that this is bad, but it does suggest the differences should be understood as curation tools will differ in features and capabilities as each tries to satisfy its target customer base. So far I have identified 3 major distinctions in curation:
- Marketing Content: comes in several forms as marketeers move away from landing pages on Facebook and web sites, and seek to amplify brand presence through curated content.
- Information (or Knowledge Content): More focused on collecting and condensing information to support a topic or subject. Most commonly a reference site usually set up for either internal or external collaboration
- Personal Content – less dependent on content management features and capabilites: can either be used for amplification (self-branding) or condensing (information).
The question I would like to pose is who visits these curated sites and what are their preferences. The following poll offers choices in the style and content of curated sites. Please let me know which sites you prefer to access for either information or shareable content. I have made a further distinction for sites that are the result of either employee or community collaboration as they possibly differ from information sites in the degree of social participation (ie more social).