SOCIAL MEDIA TREND: The Art of Curation by Vikram Alexei Kansara

Sometimes described as ‘spring break for geeks,’ the annual SXSW Interactive conference is a 5-day whirlwind of panels, presentations, parties, product launches, ‘hackathons’ and happy hours. This year’s conference was said to have attracted more than 25,000 attendees, ranging from tech entrepreneurs to agency executives, to this progressive Texan city with a budding start-up culture of its own, for what, at the best of times, manages to feel like a collective conversation on the future.


“Curation” is a word that seemed to surface again and again at SXSW. Indeed, the rise of social curation platforms like Pinterest, Svpply, The Fancy and the fashion-specific Lyst, Pinterest, in particular, has exploded in recent months, and was much discussed at SXSW. where humans, not algorithms, collect and organize content and products that friends and followers can discover.


But for publishers, media companies and other creators of original content, curation can be controversial. Indeed, the role of curation in the wider content ecosystem was the subject of what was one of the most lively and substantial panel discussions we attended at this year’s conference: “The Curators and the Curated,” featuring amongst others, New York Times media critic David Carr and Brain Pickings founder Maria Popova.


Maria Popova likened the act of curation to a form of authorship or editorship.
“Discovery of information is a form of intellectual labour,” said Popova, who described herself as a “curator of interestingness” and announced the creation of Curator’s Code, a code of conduct and associated set of symbols that indicate how a piece of content was discovered.


For his part, AdAge editor-at-large Simon Dumenco also used the SXSW stage to announced the creation of the Council on Ethical Blogging and Aggregation, a group dedicated to creating standards around linking, summarising and aggregating content online. Dumenco’s council already has the support of Esquire, The Atlantic and New York magazine. But whether either of these initiatives will achieve widespread adoption remains to be seen.



Illustrations by Craighton Berman for Fueled by Coffee


Sunday, March 25, 2012 · Categories: Social Media & Networking , Consumer Intelligence, Technology and Computers, Fashion, Marketing and Advertising, Retail and E-tail
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