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I was recently in Rome for 24 hours to run a workshop for the senior technology executives of a global Fortune 50 company. While I was in town I was keen to try to catch up with collaboration and new media expert Robin Good, who I have known online for many years but never met, so I got in touch to see if we could catch up.

Fortunately he was available, and he took the opportunity to do a video interview with me. He has excerpted part of the interview in a great post Curation – A View from The Future: Ross Dawson, which includes 4 brief videos of me sharing my thoughts on curation.

Here is the fourth video in which I talk about the 3 intents of curation.

Here are the 3 intents, presented in reverse order from the video.

The First Intent of Curation is to get attention.
It seems most discussions of curation today are implicitly about objectives of attracting attention, becoming visible, and demonstrating expertise. It is hard work to create content, but today simply by curating other people’s content you can build a powerful social media profile.

This attitude is entirely valid, but it only represents the first layer of value from curation.

The Second Intent of Curation is to develop your expertise.
I have been blogging for almost 10 years now, and it has been immensely valuable to me in many ways. Perhaps the greatest value has been in helping me to develop my own expertise on the topics I write about. Whenever I write a blog post I have to structure my thoughts, do research, and check my facts in order to create something I am happy to share.

It is not only possible but commonplace today for content curators to not read in depth what they share, but simply to find links that seem interesting and will reflect well on them. The intent of developing expertise from curation creates a very different approach, in uncovering, reflecting, and developing personal insights. In this case the curation stream that other people see is almost a by-product of the intent of developing expertise. The curators are primarily seeking to develop their expertise rather than show it off, though it becomes evident in what they share.

The Third Intent of Curation is to contribute to others.
My personal frame on this is helping to bring the networks to life, or contributing to the birth of the global brain. In essence we share the things that we think others will find valuable or interest primarily for others’ benefit. While the intent may be simply to provide things of value to an immediate personal network, this act also creates value on a far broader scale. Well considered curation is at the heart of creating collective intelligence, it is a way of contributing to all of us.

However, having a primary intent of contributing to others is in fact probably the best possible way to achieve personal objectives. As I often note:

If you help to bring the networks to life… you will create success for yourself.

So what is your intent from curation?

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  • Joachim Stroh

    My intent is to cultivate an abundance mentality. Showing that you care outside of constraints set by your role/boss/project sends a signal to others to do the same (this probably goes along with your third intent and is the opposite of the first one).

  • voetbalschoenen online

    This attitude is entirely valid, but it only represents the first layer of value from curation.

  • Maya Corfield

    I’m new to this concept of content curation, but reading through a few quotes it sounds like standard journalism principles. What are the differences?

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About the Blog author

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Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

Ross is author most recently of Getting Results From Crowds, the prescient Living Networks, which anticipated the social network revolution, the Amazon.com bestseller Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. (click on the links for free chapter downloads). He is based in Sydney and San Francisco with his wife jewellery designer Victoria Buckley and two beautiful young daughters.

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