Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Chapter 8: Curation Platforms

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Chapter 8: Curation Platforms

Article excerpt

Abstract

In chapter 8 of Library Technology Reports (vol 50, no. 7), "Social Media Curation," the authors highlight the various affordances of curation platforms by organizing them in the following categories: real-time curation, hybrid curation, digital content management systems and tools, news updates, learning playlists and dashboards, social bookmarking and note archiving, academic social research, and media curation.

Curation platforms are multiplying in a way that almost mirrors the information flood they were designed to remedy. They come in a variety of flavors.

Librarians tend to choose their curation platforms for a variety of reasons, including the affordances of the platform, their comfort level with the tools, and the concentration of community members inhabiting the space.

The librarians we spoke to used more than one tool in their curation efforts. One tool might be used for collecting or staging content, perhaps as an in-box. Another might be used for search and discovery, as a source of current awareness. Yet another might be used for publishing or sharing with a specific audience.

Nearly all of these platforms offer bookmarklets or browser extensions to facilitate clipping, scooping, pinning, bookmarking, etc., when you are not actually on the platform. Most offer communities or networks and allow members to follow other members to facilitate discovery. Many allow for collaborative upkeep. Metrics provided by these sites allow libraries to monitor, track, and evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts.

It is common for curation tools to allow for varying levels of privacy or sharing. Most offer tagging and annotation features to enable searching and sharing. Many also offer mobile apps to allow discovery and sharing beyond the desktop or laptop.

Because curation efforts in many of these spaces continue to grow, it is worth noting that many users opt not to reinvent the wheel. They may use the efforts of another community member as a starting point or share it as-is with their own communities.

This list is not exhaustive or comprehensive. It includes some of the popular tools mentioned in our interviews and on our survey.

Note: Most of these platforms are available in both free and premium versions. We describe the free versions. Premium versions offer additional features relating to branding, customization, privacy, and level of participation.

Note also that, while we attempted to classify these tools for convenience, they tend to resist sorting and often offer features that would put them into more than one of our categories.

Real-Time Curation

These platforms rely on continual flow of real-time feeds, news, and socially generated content.

* Bundlr (http://bundlr.com), similar to Pinterest, allows users (clippers) to log in with Facebook, Twitter, or Google and create and share topic pages of photos, text clips, videos, tweets, code snippets, and documents. You may opt to find, follow, and collaborate on the Bundles of friends and colleagues. Bundles are easily shared and embedded and may be resorted by date and view.

* Curata (www.curata.com), aimed at business, allows users to "find, curate, share and analyze content on specific issues or topics in order to establish thought leadership, own industry conversations and drive qualified web traffic." (1)

* Digg (http://digg.com) sends users e-mails with a handful of top stories and videos as the Daily Digg.

* Flipboard (https://flipboard.com) allows users to combine articles, photos, videos, and music from across the web to create attractive "glossy" magazines with the Fliplt bookmarklet or app. The Flipboard Editor (editor.flipboard.com) now offers a dashboard for editing, rearranging, and sharing.

* Google + Communities (https://plus.google.com/ communities) offers organized public or private spaces for special interest communities to share links and engage in discussion. …

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