Curation in Social Media

Curation promises that "less is more."

Even for the Philippines, the age of information abundance has arrived. Think of your access to data (Google, Wikipedia), and all the social media platforms you use, and the contacts you have, and the amount of information (messages, memes, etc.) you post on these platforms. You may even be a blogger with your own website. The personal information flowing in these marketplaces of information has become excessive, and the overload is creating demotivation, stress, and security problems for netizens. 

Michael Baskar’s book, “Curation: The Power of Selection in a World of Excess” (Piatkus, 2016) helps individuals and institutions select and arrange information to add value to their social media transactions. Curation has long been associated with museums and galleries, and the head of these agencies is often called a curator, someone who leads in the selection of paintings and art objects for exhibition. 

Bhaskar advises using the same principles of expert selection and arrangement in our lives. Expert selection means quality over quantity, neatness over clutter, lean-and-mean rather than flabby-and-excessive, judicious choosing rather than wanton accumulation, simplicity rather than needless complication. Artful arrangement involves highlighting your (or your firm’s) best features so that your friends, clients, customers, or students can recognize and value them better.

In social media, I have begun curating my presence in Facebook. I have pruned friends who do not actively interact with me, and have gotten rid of trolls and frenemies. My early fascination with microfame has disappeared, and am now interested in more meaningful interactions with fewer friends rather than going viral. I have also rebranded my presence, focusing my postings on music, literature, books, and cultural matters while minimizing divisive political messages. In Youtube, I have used my stock knowledge of music from the 1960s-1990s to create playlists to help millennials know about older songs. 

Curation promises that “less is more.” Whether this turns true or not, we do know that netizens have limited attention span and couldn’t digest everything they see in social media. Anyway, 2019 is an election year. May we all see better curated sober postings, rather than excess.

About the Author
Mr. Oscar F. Picazo is a retired specialist in health systems, health economics, and social policy. He has worked in 24 countries for the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and as an independent consultant. He returned to the Philippines in 2009 and became a senior research consultant for the Philippine Institute of Development Studies.
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