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Digital Curator to the Stars

I’m in the midst of a very heavy two-week travel schedule. That means I am spending many of my off hours (i.e., blogging hours) on planes, and given that I just don’t write very well on planes, it seems like a good time to point to the excellent work of other bloggers. So, I spent a bit of time sifting through the posts I have marked with a “star” in Google Reader recently, and here’s the choice collection I assembled:

It seems appropriate to start with Steve Rubel’s The Digital Curator in Your Future, the post that inspired the title of this post. Rubel argues that, in order to manage the massive amounts of information now flowing across the Web, the world needs digital curators, “people who are selfless and willing to act as sherpas and guides. They’re identifiable subject matter experts who dive through mountains of digital information and distill it down to its most relevant, essential parts.” I think we can all probably already identify “curators” on whom we rely. Of course, all of this is also reminiscent of George Siemen’s notion of the teacher as curator, which I mention briefly in my earlier Connectivism Considered posting.

And speaking of George Siemens and connectivism. In Collective Intelligence? Nah, Connective Intelligence, Siemens explains his preferences for the term “connective intelligence” over “connective intelligence.” “For reasons of motivation, self-confidence, and satisfaction,” Siemens writes, “it is critical that we can retain ourselves and our ideas in our collaboration with others. Connective intelligences permits this. Collective intelligence results in an over-writing of individual identity.” A subtle distinction, but an important one. And by the way, while Siemen’s blog is one of my frequent reads, I have to acknowledge that I first noticed this particular posting via curator extraordinaire, Stephen Downes.

Continuing with the curator theme, I do believe that Zaid Ali Algasoff is in the process of firmly establishing himself as the e-learning curator of Southeast Asia. His recent Any Free Hosted CMS or LMS? (Yes, Obama Says!) is just one piece of the accumulating evidence. In particular, I am eager to check out Ecto which claims to be “the only learning management system built from the ground up on the principles and architecture of social software.” It’s worth noting, too, that a feed reader does not do Zaid’s blog justice. This is one where you will want to stop by the site itself on a regular basis to get the full effect of text styling, layout, and graphics.

Changing gears a bit, in The Problem with Social Media Marketing Joshua Porter criticizes those who promote social media marketing as a way to create buzz. As Porter sees it, “Giving people a platform for expression doesn’t necessarily create buzz and demand. It only amplifies what the opinion was in the first place.” And the clincher: “You can’t simply set up social media tools and expect your business to get better. You have to change your business for your business to get better.”

Along with Porter, Beth Kanter is one of the people I always look to for wisdom on how social media may or may not be effective. I starred her recent How Do You Consider the Intangible Benefits of Social Media because I think the concept is so important to how organizations should be thinking about social media (see my earlier posting on the topic) and because I like her Harley Davidson metaphor.

Like many bloggers, I am a frequent reader of Brian Clark’s excellent Copyblogger. Those who know the focus and content of the blog won’t be surprised that Surprise, Not all Women Think Alike caught my attention mainly because of the headline. It made my star collection, however, because I like the way Holly Buchanan takes the reader though a brief but effective process of establishing four very different profiles for four superficially identical women. An exercise that might help out many a strategic brainstorming session.

All of these are bright twinklers in the Web 2.0 galaxy, but I may have to give superstar status to this last one, Michele Martin’s Job Searching the Web 2.0 Way series. Michele is definitely in a groove as she works with Shari Ward, a mid-career training professional, to leverage all of the power of Web 2.0 to develop her personal brand and conduct an effective job search. Before diving in, you might want to get in the right frame of mind dropping by ReadWriteWeb to read Alex Iskold’s “Are YOU replaceable?”

Well, time to pack for the next trip.

Your curator,

JTC

About the Author Jeff Cobb

I am an avid lifelong learner who writes and speaks frequently on the critical role of learning in our fast-changing world.

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1 comment
Michele Martin says

Jeff, I’d be happy to simply be a star in this particular firmament, so thanks for the kind words. 🙂 You actually having me doing a lot of thinking, between some of your most recent posts and your link to the post on the Digital Curator, so I sense a blog post on all of this in the near future. Thanks for the food for thought.

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