How to be a Digital Curator

I have always wanted to be a curator. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary definition is too broad and lacks nuance: one who has the care and superintendence of something; especially : one in charge of a museum, zoo, or other place of exhibit.

A curator is more of a trend spotter or arbiter of style responsible for presenting a unified content front for an organization – museum, retail establishment or otherwise. The hottest new buzzwords bandied about in advertising, content management, and information science are digital curation and content curation.

There are two really helpful articles on this topic that arrived via RSS this week. Let me summarize and curate them for you now. First, Scott Abel, the Content Wrangler, writes about a streamlined process for content curation. This article contains many fine insights, but the best thing is the process itself. A simplified “how to curate your content” complete with diagram.

The second resource is by Erin Scime on the blog A List Apart on “The Content Strategist as Content Curator.” This article goes into much more detail on the process of content curation and is very helpful especially as the lines blur between strategists and other folks being asked to assume curation duties. Especially in the world of libraries, web masters and digital librarians will likely curate content.

The most salient point in each article is that analytics should be used to inform future curation. At the most basic, I have been tracking analytics with this very blog for a month or so now and I notice that I have a higher readership with articles like this one than I do when I get on a soapbox about various library topics.


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