Steven Rosenbaum and the Curation Nation

Friday, February 25, 2011


What if instead of relying on search engines to get our information, we relied on each other - friends, experts, journalists - to deliver us information by way of carefully curated websites? Steven Rosenbaum, CEO of and author of Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators tells Bob that our curated content future may have already arrived.

Comments [11]

James Hayes from Athlone Ireland

I rely on search engines to get my information, but I call on my friends to, experts we have so many, but are they, journalists will tell you all you want to know, yet can mislead all? How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators tells Bob that our curated content future may have already arrived. This I think he got right,,

James Hayes

Mar. 05 2011 10:30 AM
AnnaLaura Brown from

great interview, although you say that you envision a time when people will become experts on a narrow topic and get paid every time someone buys a recommended product or clicks an ad on that website. That time is already here. How do you think a lot of bloggers make money? That is what blogging is.

Mar. 04 2011 10:28 AM
Ronald Ladouceur from Albany, NY

Spot on, Steven (and good to hear your voice again)!

I absolutely endorse your position on humans vs. robots, and share your belief (hope?) that social will outpace search as our interface to the web. It's the story Media Logic has been telling our clients and prospects for the last two years, and the idea we built our social marketing tool, Zeitgeist & Coffee, around.

Good luck with the book and the venture.

Mar. 03 2011 10:12 AM
Buzz from Xenia Ohio

Could curators also be the equivalent of a reference librarian? Through a dialogue called a reference interview, a reference librarian helps us use a variety of sources and collected and preserved materials.

Mar. 02 2011 07:49 AM
Ellen from Ann Arbor

I was struck while listening the description of "curation" -- I'm very well familiar with the term in other contexts, but was interested to hear it used to describe the work that librarians do every day and have for centuries. We collect and preserve materials (both print, digital and other media), we *select* from among the best for our clientele and we spend all day and into the night helping people get connected to the credible information they need.

Huh. Maybe I should get new business cards ;)

Feb. 28 2011 02:20 PM
Deirdre Routt from Omaha Public Library

when I heard this piece the main thing that struck is that curation is what Libraries have been doing for years. We've long created listed of best or recommended websites for users. Librarians are pretty good at evaluating sources, no matter what form they come in.

Feb. 28 2011 01:13 PM
Anne Potts from Boston

This was a really useful piece. Curation is a concept that most don't quite understand, and this conversation did a good job making it sensible. I think it's too limiting to refer to curation as editing -- editing is part of the mix, but curation brings a level of creative exploration married with an editor's understanding of an audience and the best way to capture the essence of something.

Feb. 28 2011 10:14 AM
Oliver Starr from Oakland, CA

I just wanted to remark on Steven's most astute remark:"People beat robots in making meaningful media". This is highly similar to what we've been saying all along at - that the human organization of the web -- lead by the curation of every conceivable topic , all by people -- yields some of the most interesting selections for any interest from all over the web.

As someone that has variously been a blogger, an editor and now, primarily a curator I also echo Steven's keen understanding of the difference between being an editor and a curator. Although I wouldn't segregate the two quite as substantially as Steve has I do agree that a somewhat different skill set and the ability to select materials that complement one another without the chance to alter them clearly differentiates the curator from the editor.

Oliver Starr, Chief Evangelist

Feb. 28 2011 04:31 AM
Michael Scott from Casa Grande AZ

I am in the process of focusing on the zeitgeist and Holiday advertising in America-to be specific a website that details holidays by law in America to differentiate my content from other less thorough sites. I am a believer in Mr Rosenbaum's ideas and in complete agreement. I seek to dispel the tide of mythical, unreal holiday madness that has been created since the internet was born. The content is unique, the concept is unique, a daily newspaper type feed of holiday pulp culture that really could be an I-phone application. Eventually the site will have a forum, users will be able to send antique postcards to each other and bloggers will be enlisted organically to document the wacky world of holidays and regional celebrations in the Good Old USA. Is that Curation or what!

Feb. 27 2011 04:02 PM
Steven Rosenbaum from New York, NY

Well, yes it is very much the rebirth and understanding of editing. That's key, and hallelujah is right. But there's also a new thing going on. Editors - in their previous role - weren't hunters or gatherers. They made better what professional writers submitted to them. Curators wear a few other hats. They both organize what comes to them, and explore the content morass searching useful elements to gather, organize, and contextualize.

But it's an exciting time to be a content person, because what we know for sure is that people beat robots in making meaningful media.

Feb. 26 2011 11:47 AM
Catherine Iino from Connecticut

Curation: we used to call it editing. The Internet, and Google, are wondrous things, but what we have lost in the process is the editorial function of both selecting and improving. If Mr. Rosenbaum is right, what's old will be new again. Hallelujah.

Feb. 25 2011 09:51 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.