Some Thoughts On Curation

I have been experimenting with a number of curation tools over the past year. Curation to me is a foundational element to optimizing performance inducing learning. Unlike some parts of the performance learning stack which add value when done right, curation is a limiter. A limiter sets the maximum value of everything that comes after it. “Garbage in garbage out”, in shorthand. It is only by selecting the right source material (resources, tools, experts, methodologies, etc.) can we hope to deliver higher value learning.

Learning hacks is looking at a wide range of knowledge domains in order to find ways that we can improve the entire learning stack which includes the learning itself, the transfer of that learning as well as the learner. Because of this I needed a way to collect and share the bits and pieces of larger bodies of knowledge that overlapped with the goals of improved performance.

Sitting below curation in the learning stack is network. In order to pick the best source material you need to be connected to the best sources. I continue to explore new sources like the Snapple guys search for ingredients. My goal is the same, “made from the best stuff in earth.”

Test Drives

For web sources I am playing with Pearltrees. I have been playing with it for a long time and find it and its browser extension a great way to capture websites and webpages ( including LinkedIn profiles) that I come across. It then lets me organize them in a mind map form which gives me. A quick visual on how balanced or robust my sources are in any given area. You can see some of them here

For source material, like articles, tweets,etc. I started using a Flipboard magazine I created. Better than a favorites list it allows me to put material I come across on any of my Flipboard channels or on the web into an easily consumable format. For me it’s a reference tool, like the stack of ripped magazines or dog-eared books that once covered my desk. For others it is an open sourced pool of research in which they can explore, get their own ideas and make their own conclusions. With over 50 million users this platform is a powerful medium with some well-known pundits in other industries like Robert Scoble having already attracted +10k subscribers. You can see the Learning Hacks magazine and subscribe to it here.

Both of these tools allow others to participate in the creation. One that doesn’t, but is well suited to be a hyperlinked appendix for a more specific scope is Learnist. By letting you post and find small collections of linked resources Learnist is a great tool for providing learners with additional tools, reference material and “learn more” type content. I created one for my 5-minute Learning Amplifier exercise here.

A lot of curation tool exist and some are better suited for “on-the-fly” collections like Storify.  What tools are you using?


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