It’s not curation or aggregation, it’s just how the Internet works
Originally posted on Gigaom:
For some time now, the hot new buzzword for Web services has been “curation.” Whether it’s Pinterest or Tumblr or Flipboard or News.me, everyone wants to ride the curation wave. But what does it mean, and how do you do it properly? And what makes it different from aggregation? Those kinds of debates have been around in one form or another since the Internet was invented, but they have resurfaced lately thanks to two proposals. One is trying to come up with a “code of conduct” for curators and aggregators, and the other is promoting the use of special symbols to give credit to original sources. These efforts may be well-intentioned, but they are also misguided and likely doomed, as virtually every attempt to control the Internet has been.
The code of conduct (which its proponents emphasize would be voluntary, thankfully) is the brainchild of a group of journalists including Simon Dumenco, a media writer for Advertising Age magazine, who has complained vociferously in the past about being mistreated by outlets such as the Huffington Post(s aol) who “over-aggregated” his content — that is, took too much of it, didn’t provide enough credit or committed a variety of other sins related to aggregation. While the Huffington Post has been a target of this kind of criticism more than any other new-media entity, largely because of its size; similar charges ricochet around the Web regularly involving a number of publications.