Recently I read a post by one of my favorite (angry) bloggers, Steven Hodson of Shooting at Bubbles, about the Secret of Twitter. He mentioned a somewhat recently coined term: curation. I hadn't actually heard of it, so I turned to the Mother of All Internet Knowledge: Wikipedia.
Wikipedia told me there are two forms of "digital" curation. The regular kind and "sheer" curation. The point of curation is to archive pieces of digital information. The Sheer kind is done at a kind of subconscious level, usually by a program on a computer just tracking and filing what's being done automatically. Both of these terms on wikipedia are far more technical and business related than the kind of curation that I believe Steven is referring to.
The origin of the word curation is from curator, which traditionally has been someone who keeps track of cultural heritage, like a librarian or historian or nowadays, someone who works in a museum. This was always a respected position in the past, as many people believe we cannot move forward without knowing our history.
I like to use this definition of curation instead of the digital one wikipedia provided. In essence, curation is life-streaming. Its the ability to store and file all the little bits of ourselves into a kind of collage. Its full of facts, humor, life-events and a little bit of our personality seeping through. But it a site like Twitter itself also stores a mass of information from people at all walks of life, so the website in-itself is a piece of our human history. Unlike Facebook which is more about personal interaction on a private scale, Twitter makes public masses of links, anecdotes, and stream of consciousness. It is both a wonderful and frightening thought.
What do you think our descendants will think of twitter in 100 years? 1000 years?