Should I be a “Curator”?

“to select and “preserve” or share resources, often within a particular topic area. The term is drawn from the work done by curators at museums, who use their knowledge and expertise to select particular works to bring to the museum, purchase, or organize for public display.” – Curation article, eXtension.org

Should you be a curator? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you should be curating.

  • Do you have an area of interest where others look to you for advice?
  • Is there a topic in which you would like to be perceived as an ‘expert’?
  • Is there a topic for which you would like to share information with others?

Tools to use to curate:

All of the tools mentioned here are free (or have free levels) and are incredibly easy to learn and use.

Pinterest Board screen capture

Pinterest

The new kid on the block and has been generating a lot of interest recently.  Pinterest lets you categorize web pages and write a little about each one.  You can also upload pictures and write about them as well.  One requirement is that the web page you “pin” has a picture larger than thumbnail size.  Followers can repin or post comments to what you’ve pinned.

WARNING: This site can be addictive.

Learning Guide: Pinterest from University of Wyoming Extension

Professional development opportunities:

Scoop.it

Create your own ‘gorgeous magazine’ with Scoop.it. Articles you scoop can have images or not.  They don’t have the ‘social’ aspect and are more formal than Pinterest. Followers can subscribe to your Scoop.it page and can get an email each day you post a new article.  You can post articles you find and get article suggestions that are relevant to your topic to add to your magazine for others to see.

Scoop.it sites that are relevant to Extension and education

Delicious & Diigo

Also known as social bookmarking, these sites have been around for years and have many of the same advantages as Pinterest and Scoop.it. They just don’t have the pictures and pretty layouts. You use these sites to bookmark particular webpages, and add tags and descriptions. You can chose to make the bookmark public, which enables others to see the pages you have bookmarked and tagged.

One advantage of Delicious and Diigo is that they use RSS to allow followers to use other tools (Google’s personal home page, feed readers, or many others) to get the content delivered to them without having to return to their website.

Learning Guide: Diigo from University of Wyoming Extension

Blogs

These have been used for years and are easy to create, maintain and post.  Some examples of popular free blog hosting sites are: Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress. Many blogs have evolved to include static pages, content management and many more features so you can use a ‘blog’ as your own website.

Blogs also generate RSS feeds for followers to subscribe.
Learning Guide: Blogging from University of Wyoming Extension

General Curation Resources:

One thought on “Should I be a “Curator”?

  1. Thanks for providing the overview of these curating services and resources. I follow Ron Wolford, an educator from Illinois University Extension on Twitter. He has a scoop.it page: http://www.scoop.it/u/ron-wolford. I thought I might add it here as an example of how educators or professionals may like to use Scoop.it for curating: He does a nice job of curating some of my favorite topics, such as school gardening and community gardening resources, but there are many other topics I think others would find useful here, too.

    I know there are many examples of people using these tools. I hope others will feel encouraged to leave their favorite examples of how people are using these curation services here.

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