Much has been said about what bloggers, and news organizations do online like “think before you click”. And what we do on our Twitter feeds, our Facebook pages, our Google+ and elsewhere. The intent is to make us all responsible online. What’s missing is an understanding of why. The “Why”, I think means, “We’re all curators”.
“We’re curators” suggest we pick pieces— sometimes not original content, and put them on our sites, but ultimately we act as a filter. There is also a misunderstanding of what that term means, and ultimately why that term is so much part of the barometer of what we allow to be published, or not published on ProPinoy, and ultimately what sets us apart from both mainstream, and other blogs. And why good bloggers choose what they put on their page.
Curating is what people online do with the links, photos, videos, and even people and bots that you follow— content that they run across with. You pick things. But it means more than that.
Being a curator also means being a tastemaker. To share things that run with your values— whatever values that maybe. The links you share whether on twitter, Facebook, on blogs and every other site you’re on speaks about who you are, and what you stand for.
For example, it would be counterproductive to be retweeting something you disagree with, without putting context. It speaks counter to the invisible social contract that you and your reader have signed on. Retweeting may not mean you agree with it, but it sure as hell does to a casual reader.
The Guardian, and Le Monde for example are Center-Left, while the Times is conservative. It strikes me though that social media has the same character, with each publication (if it is a blog) having its own identity, and thus readership. And people follow people, and sites because of that identity.
It is why on Twitter, it is less of a social network, and more about news, and opinion, and explains why there are more readers than active twitters. It is why the more popular blogs have character and identity— The Huffington Post is left, The Drudge Report is right. All Things D, is business-technology. AppleInsider is all things Apple. Daring Fireball is technology sprinkled with sarcasm.
Art or museum curators decide on what pieces should go in an exhibit. In some ways, we curate our own homes, our rooms, and our desks. And some like Steve Jobs agonize what sort of washing machine his family does get. For weeks.
How does this work for social media?
Beyond choosing links so too must we agonize what content we publish as comments, tweets, on Facebook, on blogs, on photos, on videos, and what we put our names and handlers on. There is one criteria that tops it all, at least for me, it does. I think it is a good barometer. What makes sense.
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