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social curation

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Social curation is collaborative sharing of Web content organized around one or more particular themes or topics.

Among the oldest social curation sites are Digg and Reddit. Both of those sites allow users to suggest links to articles and allow other readers to give approval – on Digg, for example, by clicking a “thumbs up” icon. Higher approval ratings mean that a story will appear more prominently. Delicious, another long-standing social curation site, is dedicated to social bookmarking: Users save and share links to websites of interest, arranged according to topics. A newer social curation site, Pinterest, is dedicated to images.

There is some disagreement as to whether social curation is a valid description of what the process entails. Curators in traditional fields, such as art, often feel that the term subverts the meaning of curation and, by implication, makes light of the more rigorous requirements of conventional curation. An alternate term, “content aggregation,” is sometimes proposed.

This was last updated in August 2012

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