Comments on: Algo-powered curation A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: DataSift Tue, 25 Jan 2011 16:35:30 +0000 Hi Felix,

You’re right algorithmic curation is definitely an interesting area at the moment especially with real time content.

If you’ve not already heard about DataSift it sounds like it may be something of real interest to you, DataSift is a real time content curation engine for the social web. It has multiple input sources and a range of different augmentation options and you have control of how the data is curated through our CSDL (Curated Stream Definition Langage).

If you are interested then do sign up to our Alpha programme.

Many thanks

By: ostarr Fri, 21 Jan 2011 07:56:06 +0000 Felix, interesting post. You’re certainly correct in your assessment that the entire curation ecosystem is growing and along with it there has been an will continue to be a proliferation of interesting tools that people can use to help filter, organize, archive discover and share content on virtually any topic.

How useful any one tool might be depends heavily upon the intended use. Some are designed to help curate (or in my own opinion) more artfully filter real time streams – most especially twitter however I think this form of curation is actually closer to aggregation unless those lists of tweets and other content and subsequently perused by a person and further refined. In fact I would go so far as to argue that a purely algorithmic effort at filtering content should really be described as aggregation and not truly curation.

The way I see it you wouldn’t have an algorithm choose the most important 10 pieces of French Impressionist art out of a 10,000 item collection. Could an algorithm really determine not only why they were the most important pieces but also make decisions about how to display them in a way that places them in context with one another as well as within the larger context of the entire period?

Perhaps the day when that will happen isn’t far away but as someone that has followed our progression towards Ray Kurzweil’s “Singularity” it is pretty clear that we’re not there yet.

On the other hand humans are already very skilled curators. In fact, virtually every one of us curates something. Granted, most of the stuff we curate may not be to your liking – you may not be as fond of ceramic dogs as my mom is, for example, but that doesn’t mean her collection is any less well curated for that fact – but when you do seek content on a particular topic it’s highly likely that if you look for material curated by an expert in that area it will deliver far greater value for the time spent to locate it than you are likely to realize using search engines to find material on the same topic.

As an example, take a look at content curated within Pearltrees (disclosure, I am the Chief Evangelist for the company) – here a a couple of links to pearltrees on topics that have received recent attention:

Apple Minus Steve Jobs:
Star Trek:

I think you’ll find that humans do a much better and far more context sensitive job of curating content – I think it’s for this reason that Gabe Rivera (techmeme founder) has always hand picked the sites that Techmeme uses for its principal index and it is also why he now retains a team of people to manually curate (at least in part) the content that now appears on the site.

Perhaps one day machines will do this job as well or better than people but for now I think machines are still more aggregators while humans are the true curators on content both physical and digital.

For some additional thoughts on this topic, please check out Tom Foremski’s excellent piece on SiliconValleyWatcher

By: MickWeinstein Sat, 15 Jan 2011 19:49:37 +0000 @OnTheTimes, follow some smart people on Twitter who like to drop links and comment on them, then use to gather those links and comments – that’s not so cumbersome

By: OnTheTimes Thu, 13 Jan 2011 20:11:48 +0000 @Mick, “cumbersome project”? Full-time job is more like it.

I think there is some value in twitter, but it takes an enormous amount of filtering to extract it.

By: Zdneal Thu, 13 Jan 2011 13:11:19 +0000 This is interesting. Yahoo started out not as pure search, but as a directory.

In January 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo were Electrical Engineering graduate students at Stanford University when they created a website named “David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web”.[4] David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web was a directory of other web sites, organized in a hierarchy, as opposed to a searchable index of pages. In April 1994, “David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” was renamed “Yahoo!”.[5][6] The domain was created on January 18, 1995.[7]

Then search got better and the curated aspect seemed less important. Can yahoo recapture it’s original value by saying it’s no longer a search engine? Is bing going about its advertising wrong by associating itself with search at all?

By: MickWeinstein Thu, 13 Jan 2011 04:38:05 +0000 OnTheTimes, so you must not be a) following the right people on Twitter and b) using the right tools to gather the links they’re dropping there. That’s can be a cumbersome project still, admittedly, but in certain areas like finance, media and politics – where there’s an active twitter community linking to the best stuff – it’s by far the best way to keep up with quality work/discussion in real time.

Felix, anxious to see what you have cooking – something along the lines of The Daily Curator, perchance?

By: OnTheTimes Wed, 12 Jan 2011 22:00:09 +0000 I would refer to twitter for curation as often as I turn to a USA Today or Fox news poll to find out how to vote.