For my first blogpost for our class, I decided to examine how to be most effective when curating content. I decided to use Google as a jumping-off point to find some sources that would provide me with a clearer focus, and I came across Heidi Cohen’s “12 Attributes of a Content Curation Strategy” (found at http://heidicohen.com/12-attributes-of-a-content-curation-strategy/). To begin her article, Cohen states that a successful curator “provides context for the content so that it’s more than collection of information.” In other words, a curator’s duty is not just to collect and display content to the audience, but rather to make the viewers understand and appreciate the connections formed within the collection. A curator wants the audience to understand the collection at a surface level, but also wants the viewer to delve deeper and examine all of its contents as being individual from one another. In doing so, the viewer is likely to discover more about each aspect of the collection, as well as why it specifically was chosen to be incorporated. By gathering these smaller bits of information, the collection as a whole should seemingly become more coherent to the audience.
Cohen offers the twelve features that she believes are most effective in content curation. The first four particularly resonated with me when thinking about the topic of curating:
1. Has defined, measurable goals – A curator should set out to build a collection with a definitive purpose in mind. This will immediately begin a selection and elimination process within the mind of the curator, narrowing down the possibilities of what is relevant enough to be included in the collection.
2. Targets a specific audience – Focusing to create a collection for a specific group of people is yet another method of filtration. Depending on the audience, certain questionable components may either be included or left out.
3. Contains red meat content, not filler – It is oftentimes difficult to determine what exactly qualifies content as being of the utmost importance. However, a curator’s job is to do just that and leave everything else out in order to have the most concise, efficient collection. This involves much careful consideration on the curator’s part, which leads to more lists of categories pertaining to what exactly is important enough to be included within the collection.
4. Follows the “less is more” theory – This point is unsurprising based on the three that precede it. A curator’s main purpose to organize information in such a way that it appeals to and resonates with the audience it is designed for. The way this is most easily accomplished is through providing the audience with the most significant details rather than a plethora of information that they are left to deduce on their own.
This all being said, it seems to me that the components of a curated collection of content are best seen as irreplaceable building blocks that contribute to a greater overarching purpose or theme.