Curating the Web

By Maeve Maddox

A Doonsbury strip in the Sunday paper introduced me to a new expression: curating a brand.

Until then, the only meaning I knew for curator was “a person who looks after a museum collection.”

I don’t know if Rohit Bhargava coined the term, but his article “Manifesto For The Content Curator: The Next Big Social Media Job Of The Future?” explains what is meant by content curator and what it means to curate the web:

A Content Curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online.

According to Rohit, “experts predict that content on the web will double every 72 hours.” He says that businesses that want to keep up with consumer comments on their products will require a full-time content curator.

A related term is CGM: Consumer-Generated Media. The identity of the person who coined this term is known: Pete Blackshaw, CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) for Nielsen Buzzmetrics.

In the old days, CGM consisted of letters and phone calls that were easy to ignore. Now it embraces blogs, photos and videos. Thanks to social networking sites, a positive or negative comment on a restaurant, a movie or a brand of cereal can go viral in minutes. This kind of CGM cannot be ignored.

A site called Brandeo gives this definition of a CGM Multiplier:

The extent to which an offline event (ad campaign, launch, new CEO) stimulates online discussion.

Brandeo itself seems to be a web curator for the marketing industry.

Manufacturers and service providers are not the only entities being urged to think about curating the web.

The site Publishing 2.0 offers an article directed at journalists. “Best Practices for Journalists Curating the Web…” The same site has an article by Scott Karp that suggests that instead of laying off redundant wire editors and feature editors, print newspapers might retrain them as web curators.

On one site I found the term co-curate:

How does a museum, with a (presumably) carefully constructed brand, often based largely on its carefully curated collection (whatever that may be), invite its patrons to co-curate that brand? Is that even a desirable goal? Does it depend on the museum, or the type of museum? — BethDunn

I came across the term curator effect at a site called CuratorEffect:

The Curator Effect explains how profound shifts in consumer expectations mandate new business rules in eliciting consumer trust.

An example of curating the web can be found on the NY Times technology page: a round-up feature called “What We’re Reading” in the lower right sidebar.

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3 Responses to “Curating the Web”

  • Lydia, Clueless Crafter

    Coming from the art world, I have noticed “curate” cropping up in unique contexts.

    It’s an empowering word, making the consumer into the entity that sells and purchases, right?

  • Beth

    “Content Curator”, what ever happened to librarians and archivists that a new term was needed?

  • Anne

    Hmmm…web curator…I like it! Thanks for the illuninating article, much to think about here. I also found Mr. Bhargava’s article of interest. Thank you also for the link to brandeo.

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