BTB #242: Curation Nation

Steven RosenbaumThat roar you hear coming from your laptop or smartphone is the tsunami of content washing over us endlessly in the digital age. The deluge that overwhelms each of us every day in the form of waves of email and news stories, text and video and sound, is an unmediated mess – unless, of course, we assign someone the task to make sense of it all, by organizing, prioritizing, and synthesizing. In a word: the activity of curation.

Guy Kawasaki, who’s no slouch as an aphorist, recently said, “Curation — not creation — is king.” To learn why in an era of data abundance, the thing that is scarce is taste, CCC’s Chris Kenneally turned to Steven Rosenbaum, author of newly-published “Curation Nation.”

So, why the excitement about curation, which sounds like something to soften and flavor a slab of beef? “People don’t want more information. They want less information properly organized so that you can help find what you’re looking for,” said Rosenbaum, who is best known as the creator of MTV News UNfiltered and is currently CEO of Magnify.net, a video curation service.

“Google would have you believe that if they just had more data, they could chop things up into the right boxes,” Rosenbaum noted. “But really what it comes down to is the job of a magazine editor or a book editor or a newspaper editor or a programmer at a television network is part science and part art, and the art part is the part that computers don’t do very well.”

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