Associations are a veritable content creation machine. These groups of thought leaders are blogging, tweeting, meeting, and plugging in to social media with innovation and enthusiasm that in many ways surpasses many of the media organizations.
While media is suffering from audience erosion, as the web gives readers and viewers and ever widening array of choices — association membership remains strong and solid. Why? Because professionals need access to high quality information, professional networking, and professional development resources that a consortium of their fellow members can provide.
I have been writing about curation and aggregation in this blog and am always delighted to find discussions about activities that I see as central to communities of practice.
I am a great fan of Produsage.
This has prompted me to think about an activity that might be called ProCurate. I see this as the collection of digital information with the aim of making it available openly for others to find and develop. I think it is a conscious and deliberate activity infused with reciprocal altruism.
A post by Deanna Dahlsad focused my thinking today (I had missed this earlier post). She proposes that:
Content curation is the process of sorting, arranging, and publishing information that already exists. Like any collector or museum curator, content curators identify and define their topics, select which items to include (and often how they are displayed), while providing the context, annotations, and proper credits which not only assist their readers but identify themselves as more than interested but invested; a leader or an authority.
It seems to me that curation is an act of commitment too.
I liked her comparison of blogging and curation:
Many bloggers spend their time selecting what they consider the best of what other people have created on the web and post it at their own sites, just like a magazine or newspaper. Or they provide a mix of this along with writing or otherwise creating their own content. Not to split hairs, but curation involves less creation and more searching and sifting; curation’s more a matter of focused filtering than it is writing.
Shortly after reading Deanna’s post a tweet led me to Paul Wallbank’s post about Managing your digital estate. He observes that:
Dealing with the passing of a loved one is always difficult but today we have an added complexity of dealing with the online problems of social media sites suggesting people still “like” the deceased or valuable documents locked into cloud computing services.
With more of us storing information into cloud computing services, having important data locked away becomes a real risk and how online storage or software companies deal with deceased estates becomes important.
Paul’s post summarises policies for dealing with a deceased’s profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, Apple, Amazon and PayPal. He points to Mashable’s post 7 Resources for Handling Digital Life After Death. In that post Erica Swallow observes:
After someone passes away, their digital assets live on in the form of computer files and data online. For some, that’s not a big deal. But for others, the thought of leaving digital assets unattended for eternity after death is unthinkable.
I had not seen the seven resources Erica mentions. As a result of Paul and Erica’s posts I see the activity of ProCuration as a custos role too.
This custos role is being exemplified for me at the moment with the Paralympic Wikipedia project.