These days anyone can become a social curator, sharing links, sites and information with the rest of the world. Pandia takes a look at the best curation tools.
Digital curation is the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets (according to Wikipedia). Curation used to be the domain of archivists and librarians. But the brunt of curation has moved over from the shelves and archives onto the Web.
These days your daughter and your grandmother might be doing it. And recently the Web has added a social aspect to curation: You don’t just collect and preserve information, you share your collections with the world. This is social curation and here is a look at the best social curation sites right now
The belle of the ball
Pinterest is the big thing in social curation right now. Numbers from Alexa suggest it has surpassed veterans such as Delicious and Reddit (below) in traffic. Pinterest is like a collection of online pin boards where you pin images that fascinate you.
But even though Pinterest has a visual and aesthetic focus, there is more to these “pins” than meet the eye. Each image links to the page or article where you found it and you can add a comment or excerpt when you save it to one or more of your pin boards.
So each pin is essentially a visual bookmark and the pin boards are tematic collections of such bookmarks, where you add context to the information you collect.
The social aspect means that your pins are public and others can comment on them, making each item a potential discussion forum. Other users can also add items as favorites (“like”) or add them to their own pin boards (“repin”). This way the item gathers even more context — a way to gather lots of potentially useful information.
Pinterest is not just a place to store information. It is also an excellent place to find information. You can browse the most recent pins in some 30 categories and re-pin what you like. Or you can find people who post information you are interested in and follow their activity or just the most relevant of their pin boards. There is even an RSS feed for each person.
For some reason there are not feeds for individual pin boards, though, which is a shame. Another problem is that the visual character of Pinterest makes search hard. The objects often have little meta data, which makes for inaccurate search. And even though I can find a lot of info by searching Pinterest as a whole, I can’t search my own pins. This is why I’m leaving Pinterest after three weeks.
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