Curation is only as good as its maintenance

I've been curating content for a long long time. Before it was even called curation, I was curating. I was researching all the things and trying to create something more powerful than the individual parts.

Is this what curation is?

I feel curation is often referred to as the art of selecting and organizing. However, I think it goes deeper than that.

  • Curating should have a purpose or a goal. There needs to be a reason that drives you to keep showing up. Where is your curating going to help you get to?
  • Curating is about caring. To consistently show up, you must love and give a damn about the topic. What is the thing you really care about?
  • Curating should be collecting consistently. The moment you stop curating, your whole collection becomes irrelevant and out of date. Are you committed about the long term?
  • Curating is about cultivating, it's not about knowing how it will turn out, it's going with the flow. Discovering and embracing the discoveries you find along the way. Will you keep an open mind with what and how you curate?
  • Curating is about truly exploring the conversations. You need to be curious and willing to be that person at the center of it all. How can you get involved with conversations so that people will always associate a topic with?

Based on these thoughts some words and phrases that can be associated with curating:

  • exploring conversations
  • cultivating discoveries
  • collecting what matters
  • collecting with consistency and commitment
  • curating with care
  • creating a vision
  • connecting the dots
  • showcasing
  • having standards
  • being picky
  • cultivating a vibe
  • consuming
  • highlighting
  • understanding signal and noise
  • research
  • exploration
  • curating a vision
  • cultivating a vibe
  • bringing together the best of something

What can you curate when it comes to community?

To be honest, it could be anything that is important to your people, these are the kinds of things I have done:

  • members (profiles or directory)
  • content (blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, Tweets, news)
  • resources (guides, books, templates)
  • conversations, stories and show cases
  • notes, ideas and snippets (from books, for example)
  • activities (things your community would be interested in doing together)

Curation never stops

There is something that I keep seeing happen. Stuff gets curated, it gets shouted out about, then promptly gets forgotten.

The reality is that the moment you stop curating something it becomes irrelevant and out of date. It promptly loses it's value.

Littered across the internet are many curation projects, abandoned, accumulating link rot, and frankly not particularly useful. Infact, I'd even extend it to say β€” if they are not useful, they could even be harmful. People stumbling upon what they might believe to be a well curated resource, that is actually out of date could very much lead people down the wrong path.

The world needs more well intentioned curated resources. On the face of it, it all seems easy β€” it's just dropping a few links here and there. This is far from the reality.

If you decide to curate, curate well, with intention, and ensure you are in it for the long term.

How can we build better communities?

We are on a quest to learn and explore what makes great communities.


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