Better paradigm / tools for curation

Of course, the whole Internet is crying out for this. The slow death of printed newspapers means that the platform for curated insight that has been seen as the Fourth Estate of the western democratic model is losing strength.

Internet magazines like slate and Huff Post appear to offer web-based alternatives (they actually don’t feel curated enough, and yet sites like Spiked with a more specific angle seem too far the other way), but somehow don’t do it for me.

In any case, this idea is far more modest. It’s about curated lists on specialist sites (listmania ‘picks’ on amazon, playlists on music services – that sort of thing). These are nearly useless, because without going through them, or already knowing most of what is on them, you have no idea whether to trust them – so you might as well not bother.

My suggestion is that the sites which host these lists need to allow a little more personalisation by the list maker – nothing revolutionary (indeed some of these are present in some sites):

  • a bit of a profile,
    • a picture,
    • some small amount of customisation of the page
  • a few lines about the sort of book/film/music they like, and why
  • space for a few lines about each item on the list
  • ability for people to follow/subscribe/like/vote up/appreciate (as fine-grained as you like)

This would give the punter an idea of who the listmaker is, where they are coming from – making it easier to decide whether to trust your eyes/ears/brain to them. At the same time, I am sure it would result in more lists being made, in the elevation of some listmakers to the status of trusted curators.

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