Thursday, 3 May 2018

The Curator's Egg

Photo: Tyler Orehek

Today's post leads on from my last one, as well as picking up a theme a looked at over 5 years ago: curators and curation

Since I wrote about Brand Curators (which on balance, I still think is a good idea), the use of the word and its variants - curated, curate as verb - has exploded. it's almost as omnipresent as the dreaded "journey" - in fact, "curated journeys" abound.

Curation is a good and necessary thing in the present day, with digital overload, and it does suggest a degree of discernment, skill and knowledge. But have a look at a typical brand activity - I've picked Amazon - which involves "curation."

Amazon Prime's Book Box Service is one of those ideas that it feels a little churlish to criticise. I do take the points about encouraging children to read and love books and all the rest.

But. The books are described as "hand-picked" as well as "curated". Does that mean a human being is doing the choosing? But how much is that human being aided and abetted by algorithms? And does this kind of "curation" involve an aspect of "nanny knows best"? The word "curate" does come from curare - "to care." 

Where does curation stop and censorship (of a gentle sort) begin?

Is it the curators who have their knives at the ready to dock the long tail?  

1 comment:

Sue Imgrund said...

And the debate goes on ...