Turn Off the Social Media Noise

Are you a curator or a broadcaster?

How much social media traffic would be reduced if we stopped talking about social media on social media platforms? I would bet quite a lot. In fact, I would not be able to write and publish this post. But that aside, let me please proceed.

In addition to letting us share and resend, retweet everything we encounter every day regardless of relevance, republishing content across social media outlets has created an army of broadcasters and curators.

So let’s look at the most abused term of recent months: “curators.”

The curator of a museum of, let’s say modern art, selects items for the collection based on their quality, relevance, provenance or any number of selection criteria. They don’t just send people off to the four corners scooping up everything created since the mid-19th century. That’s not curating. That’s hoarding. And it’s ultimately destructive.

When done right, a curator finds and shares things of real value, whether because of their inherent beauty or truth, or because they are exquisite examples of a particular genre. A curator selects things that are relevant to a theme or to a specific strategy or story line. The curator needs more than content and a platform to share it. The job requires judgment, passion and a commitment to doing what most people can’t do very well: edit themselves.

Misunderstanding curation creates only more noise, particularly in digital media where everybody gets a turn at the megaphone. “Content” based on receiving and rebroadcasting anything with the right hashtag doesn’t make you a curator. It makes you a broadcaster.

It would be great to start to see the vast amount of social media content begin to be curated and not just broadcasted. This post excluded, of course.


by Mike Tittel
Executive Creative Director – Cincinnati

Follow Mike on Twitter @tittel.

Cross-posted at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network