"Curation comes up when search stops working," says author and NYU Professor Clay Shirky. But it's more than a human-powered filter. "Curation solves the problem of filter failure."
Who are curators? What can they gather and re-publish? Do they have the right to get paid for curation? If so, who's adding the real value, the content makers or the curators/publishers?
For creators - people who've spent their careers making content and trying to sort out an economic model - curation can seem like an end-run around hard work. And so the conflict ultimately comes down to this: Is curation about saving money? Or about adding value? The answer is "yes" to both.
"A lot of it is economic -- doing more with less -- and it has crossed every media industry," explains Allen Weiner of Gartner Group. "If you think about the tools you want to give an editor to make him or her more complete, you want to give them curation tools."
Today there's an economic imperative to add curation to the content mix. And from a user perspective, well done curation is a huge value-add in a world where unfiltered signal overwhelms noise by an ever-increasing factor.
Curation is now part of the content equation. It doesn't kill anything. Rather it adds a powerful new tool that will make content destinations more relevant, more robust, and more likely to attract and retain visitors.
Curation is here to say, though creators should have the ability to create boundaries, both editorial and economic, around what they create and how it is repurposed.