Curation Nation: How to Win In A World Where Consumers Are Creators written by Steven Rosenbaum sure is a mouthful to get out, or type. However, don’t let the length of the title scare you away, this book is very much an easy read and comes across as if you were reading as a series of blog posts, rather than a full length book.
Overall, the book is a little disjointed and I felt as if it didn’t matter what order I read it in. That being said, I think it is a fantastic chronicle of where we have come from and where we could go in terms of the Social Media sphere. The future most definitely is “curation” but in what form is still to be determined.
One very interesting point Rosenbaum kept driving home was that curation dates back to the days of the town criers and most likely before then. There is nothing new about the practice, it is just now being applied to a new medium, the Internet. The interesting thing is, is that the Internet and Social Media are now mature enough to benefit from curation. The search engines are increasingly becoming less adequate in helping us, the everyday user, to find the content that we need/want. It’s not the search engines’ fault, there is just too much data created every day to keep up, and that trend is only going to keep getting worse as the Digital Divide is lessened.
Rosenbaum delves very effectively into the debate on whether content aggregation should be governed by the fair use doctrine or if aggregators such as the Huffington Post are currently stealing content. The context and real life examples which he provides for each side of the debate, are very interesting and not something I have seen elsewhere. By reading the words of the people involved on either side it definitely illuminates the debate in a refreshing and almost newsy way.
The main takeaway I received from this book is that curation is not new, it has been around probably since the beginning of humankind. The need has always been and will always be there. The change occurs in the technology within which we are currating in. The book ends with setting the reader up with the question of what now. We are now at the dawn of a new revolution where curation may go back to being more homespun and less top down. It’s also a time where everyone is, can, and should be a curator since there are no real technical or financial barriers to owning your own little corner of the web. So, what are you going to do?
Overall, I would recommend this book to those who want to enjoy a quick synopsis of where content has come and is currently on the Web. I would not say there are any earth shattering concepts presented in this book or any business plans to turn around and use to make money. However, this book does make you think about content in a bit of a different way and to me that is a good expenditure of time.