What is Curation?


What is Curation?

Above is a brief take on online curation - by a few curators - to jumpstart our conversation.
Please respond to one or more of the following questions (and to each other) in the discussion below:

  • What is curation and why does it matter to me as a learner?
  • What is the difference between curating and archiving?
  • Has anyone developed theoretical frameworks for curation?
  • What are your experiences with curation - online and off - both as a curator and as someone who relies on curated content?


Wow this video is awesome!

Here are some of the major phrases that jumped out to me: acquisition, selection, seeing connections, feeling like it’s made for me, is it worth my time?, being curious, saving things for myself, “newsification of content”, ignoring things that we don’t need to pay attention to.

I think the curation is, therefore

  1. Creating and refining a process to find things that I might care about among the bazillion things out there
  2. Using that process to decide whether that thing I found actually does matter to me
  3. Putting that thing somewhere so I can interact with it (think about it, see it, share it) easily and learn from it
  4. Deciding whether I want to keep that thing around for longer than right now once I’ve “finished” with it
  5. Putting it away somewhere so I know where it is and I can refer to it when the time is right, but it isn’t in my face all the time

I think archiving is simply that last step with less concern about why that thing might be accessed though very concerned with where, how, and when it might be accessed again.

Having spent some time behind the scenes in museums and studying art history before, I am generally aware of theoretical frameworks for curation, but I’ve never run into specific theories that are easy to understand or relevant to me. It often feels like the curator has a HUGE idea that just goes completely unnoticed by me, the visitor. Does it still exist then, I wonder? Is it really doing something or has it failed?

Online, Facebook is my most actively curated experience, which is of course barely curated by me, except that I can choose not to see certain people’s updates or certain ads that show up in my feed after they show up.