Content Curation World
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Content Curation World
What a Content Curator Needs To Know: How, Tools, Issues and Strategy
Curated by Robin Good
Author: Robin Good   Google+
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Creating a Framework for What Matters and Why: Maria Popova Explains What It Means To Be a Curator

Creating a Framework for What Matters and Why: Maria Popova Explains What It Means To Be a Curator | Content Curation World |
Robin Good's insight:

Back in Feberuary of this year Debbie Millman has interviewed Maria Popova, the curator of Brain PickingsLiterary Jukebox and the inventor of Curator's Code.

Find out what Maria thinks curation is all about (How do we make sense of the world we through stuff and through objects - whether physical or metaphysical) and why she has become so interested in it.

Maria is a fantastic and highly prolific content curator producing three original posts and between 60 to 70 tweets a day.

Specific interview points I suggest you listen to: 

-> 24':30" for combinatorial creativity and the first recorded examples of content curation as a form authroship

-> 27':16" Curation - Do you define yourself a curator?

-> 28':00" Curators don't design, they organize

-> 28':50" What is curation

-> 29':19" Curation and pattern recognition

-> 37':45" The importance of discovery - why attribution matters


Original audio interview: 

(duration: 52':07")

.MP3 audio download: 

More interesting interviews: Design Matters Podcast

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Credit and Attribution Are Fantastic Untapped Resources for Discovery, Not Duties: Maria Popova and The Curator's Code

Credit and Attribution Are Fantastic Untapped Resources for Discovery, Not Duties: Maria Popova and The Curator's Code | Content Curation World |

Robin Good: Maria Popova has just launched a classy and laudable initiative, focused on increasing awareness and in highlighting the importance of honoring always where or via who you have got to a certain article, report, video or image.

Credit and attribution are not just a "formal" way to comply with rules, laws and authors but an incredibly powerful emebddable mechanism to augment findability, discovery, sinergy and collaboration among human being interested in the same topic.

She writes: "In an age of information overload, information discovery — the service of bringing to the public’s attention that which is interesting, meaningful, important, and otherwise worthy of our time and thought — is a form of creative and intellectual labor, and one of increasing importance and urgency.

A form of authorship, if you will.

Yet we don’t have a standardized system for honoring discovery the way we honor other forms of authorship and other modalities of creative and intellectual investment, from literary citations to Creative Commons image rights."

For this purpose Curator's Code was created.

Curator's Code is first of all "a movement to honor and standardize attribution of discovery across the web" as well as a web site where you can learn about the two key types of attribution that we should be using:

a) Via - which indicates a link of direct discovery

b) Hat tip - Indicates a link of indirect discovery, story lead, or inspiration.

Each one has now a peculiar characterizing icon that Curator's Code suggests to integrate in your news and content publication policies. 

Additionally and to make it easy for anyone to integrate these new attribution icons in their work, Curator's Code has created a free bokkmarklet which makes using proper attribution a matter of one clic.

Hat tip to Maria Popova and Curator's Code for launching this initiative. 

Whether or not you will sign Curator's Code pledge, become an official web site supporting it, or adopt its bookmarklet instantly is not as important as the key idea behind it: by providing credit and attribution to pieces of content you find elsewhere, you not only honestly reward who has spent time to create that content, but you significantly boost the opportunity for thousands of others to connect, link up to, discover and make greater sense of their search for meaning.

Read Maria Popova introductory article to Curator's Code: 

How to use the Curator's bookmarklet: 

Healthy. Inspiring. 9/10

Curator's Code official web site: 

N.B.: Too bad that the Curator's Code bookmarklet doesn't work with, as the one excludes the other. But you could save the two codes for the special attribution characters in a text note and copy and paste whicever you need. Given the need for simplicity and integration this is not an ideal solution but I am sure that between Maria and Guillaume at they will find a way to make this work easily for all. Maria and Guillaume: what do you say?

Beth Kanter's comment, March 11, 2012 1:01 PM
Thanks Robin for sharing and curating this article with your summary. I discovered it via Barbara Bray's collection where she had re scooped your scoop -- [and if following the curator's code added a via]. I came over here to rescoop (with a via!) because you are the original source and one of the links was broken (you corrected it and added an update) thus reminding me the importance of going to the original source. Here on you can just follow the trail of the rescoop icon.

I am disappointed that the bookmarklet doesn't work together with the one - but it would be great to have it integrated. Now to figure out how to rescoop it with the characters.
Robin Good's comment, March 11, 2012 1:12 PM
Hi Beth, thanks for your kind feedback. I was just out today for a video interview with Nancy White here in Rome, and she mentioned you as someone she likes for your ability to curate and make sense of things.

Re the integration of the curators' code icons, I have received feedback from Guillaume De Cugies of that he has been exchanging with Maria Popova and that he is looking with her for a way to integrate the two.

For now you can simply install the Curators' Code bookmarklet and use the "via"<a href="" target="_blank" style="font-family:sans-serif;text-decoration:none" >&#x1525;</a> or hat tip <a href="" target="_blank" style="font-family:sans-serif;text-decoration:none" >&#x21ac;</a> icons by copying and pasting their code into your scoops manually. The problem, at least for me is, that the editing window is in the same position where the Curators' Code bookmarklet is and therefore I can't see both at the same time.

In any case I think it would be trivial for or any other tool to integrate such buttons directly into their system without having us to use two different tools for one task.
Dr. Karen Dietz's comment March 11, 2012 9:36 PM
Many thanks Robin for the help! Somehow I missed the article -- computer fatigue probably :) I read it earlier today and look forward to using the codes. I'm thrilled to hear that is looking into integrating them into the platform. Thanks for keeping us updated on this new, and important twist, for curating. Cheers -- Karen
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Maria Popova and The Art of Curation: An Interview with the Curiosity Guide

Maria Popova and The Art of Curation: An Interview with the Curiosity Guide | Content Curation World |

"...I consume a lot of information across an incredibly wide spectrum of disciplines and sources, always aiming to synthesize the meaningful and connect it with something else for a larger portrait of what matters in the world."

Robin Good's insight:

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain PIckings, a unique blog site cum newsletter that curates stories and articles from the web that stimulate the mind of the curious and which provide insight into the type of culture we live in.

In an excellent 2010 interview written by Chris Allison, Maria explains what she defines as curation and how she goes about it in her every day work.

In her definition: "Brain Pickings is a highly curatorial endeavor. And the art of curation isn’t about the individual pieces of content, but about how these pieces fit together, what story they tell by being placed next to each other, and what statement the context they create makes about culture and the world at large.

Every piece of content on Brain Pickings is hand-picked for embodying the sort of cultural interestingness at the core of our curatorial vision – it’s creative, compelling and makes a meaningful contribution to the world; it offers a justification to be curious and enriches you in the process of indulging that curiosity."

Maria also provides great examples of curation at work, and explains how all of the advertising on her site is "pro bono" and fitting her objective of curating in full the reader experience. In other words, Maria curates which ads are showcased on her site by selecting those reflecting companies and products she actually believes in for free. 

She also provides a valuable, and much valid to this day, vision for the future of curation and curators. Niche specialization, is in this case, the name of the game.

Very interesting. Insightful. Resourceful. 8/10

Full interview: 

Check also the Flipboard interview with Maria Popova here: 

Randy Bauer's comment, October 5, 2013 1:43 PM
Thanks Robin, I am a fan of Brain Pickings. and of your curation as well.
Robin Good's comment, October 5, 2013 1:45 PM
Thank you Randy.
Brian Kirby's curator insight, October 11, 2013 4:41 PM

How to sift through large amounts of information...