What is curating
Curating might be associated with Museums and Galleries and the curation of artifacts. The Institute for Cultural Practices offers these definitions:
- “Curating is the process by which a physical or virtual space is designed and formulated to include a collated, selected, interpreted and intended concept, which can be articulated through a variety of media”
- “The organisation, discussion and presentation of information including objects, facts and opinions, in order to create value and meaning to be understood by the public”
- “Curating is examining, researching and documenting a collection with the aim of making it accessible to the public. This is done through careful interpretation of the objects, space and text to curate an informative exhibition”
Digital curation is the curation of digital artifacts. In much a similar way, items can be gathered or curated and saved in a digital space. However to add further value, the digital curator can add information as a digital narrative to add context and detail. In a previous post I talk about making and telling a good story with the curation tool Storify.
Prof Simon Lancaster raises the distinction between sharing and hoarding
At their simplest curation tools can provide the means to create collections. These can be themed by topic. In some spaces, collections can be tagged to provide a useful way to re-find things you have curated. Examples might include:
- Twitter lists or Likes
- YouTube playlists
I have to say that the majority of my curations are simply collections, albeit fairly well organised into themed topics. What stops me from adding extra value - for example adding a narrative - is the old chestnut 'time'. One of the values of curation tools is the ease and speed you can 'save' things and so often this is done in the moment where you don't have the time or head space to reflect on the item but want to save it to come back to. I'm pretty certain we are all guilty of collecting things we don't go back to for a long time, if ever!
There are a number of curation tools above I have yet to experiment with. I've found it useful thus far organising 'stuff' in different spaces and actually enjoy the variety. One thing I would say is not to overload your chosen space as a) it is overwhelming and b) you can never find anything.
Q4 in digital curation it's too easy to just keep everything, we need to exercise our judgement: to cut, cull and chop #LTHEchat #BYOD4Lchat— Simon Lancaster (@S_J_Lancaster) January 13, 2016
Some examples of curations
Elizabeth Charles has a Scoop.it page on Information and Digital Literacy in Education via the Digital Path. She curates links to articles and adds a short narrative to provide her insight. Her page has received in excess of 36.5 K views.
Chris Jobling decided to curate the tweets and add his own comments using Storify