This blog post is not a mere collection of letters grouped into small bundles described as words, which when aligned with each other form sentences of varying degrees of intellectual merit.

No! That would be to demean the impact of the writing skills involved and overlook the opportunity to throw in an increasingly prevalent buzz-word that seems to be cropping up like mushrooms after rain.

This blog post has been curated.

Traditionally, the curator was someone who looked after collections of items and on occasions, finances permitting, would then put them on display in a manner that would hopefully be meaningful to the average oik who looked at them.

Recently though – probably over the past six months or so – I have seen the curated display take off as a term to describe almost any sort of PR stunt, event or party.

The final straw was an invite this morning to an event launch party in New York (me, really?) where the music would be curated by a selection of DJs. Yes, the curator has left the academic circles and can now be found in that temple to pretentious behaviour – the nightclub DJ.

Just as I see adverts for items describing them as “designer goods”, when it should be noted that everything is designed by someone, and what they actually mean is the designer has a famous name, I am seeing the term curated abused to try and suggest that the event in question has been carefully put together when in fact an office intern just found a few cheap people to fill an event with.

So, please stop scattering the term curated around with such gay abandon and return to a more sensible use of the English language.

Now if you will excuse me, I am off to the supermarket to curate a shopping bag.

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7 Comments

  1. The thing which flummoxes me is the recent rash of “content curation” going on online, with tools like Redux or Scoop.It, which as far as I can tell assemble a newsletter type thing out of links you save on a topic but remove the need/opportunity for the sender to bother having to write anything of their own. The automatic ones are even worse, where you get a link to an aggregated page of story excerpts which have been assembled via an automatic keyword search. Argh! No wonder the web’s useless…

    • IanVisits

      I don’t think a few stupid services makes the entire internet useless.

  2. Kit Green

    Being a little out of touch I am not certain which came first (to webspeak), curation or aggregation.

    As Jason B. Standing points out there are sights that emulate newspaper headlines with links to others’ blogs or news articles. An example being http://paper.li/simon_morice/digital-media-list-6#
    which I believe is generated by looking at twitter feeds with required hashtags.

    Don’t ask me…….

    • Kit Green

      They may well be sights but of course I meant sites!

    • IanVisits

      Aggregation of content has been around for a very long time, and is a very useful function to bring together disparate sources into a single flow of information.

      Curation is a very fashionable buzz word.

      I now see “curated” in emails for this blog as often as I see “cloud computing” in my work emails.

      I hope both die a death very shortly.

  3. TGP

    I’d like to nominate the phrase ‘pop-up’ for joining ‘curate’ on the slow boat to nowhere.

    I have just been invited to ‘London’s first pop-up walk.’

    ?

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