Monday, April 6, 2009

Curate Your Ass, MSM

© Stan Spire 2009


The buzzword is “curation.” Professional media editors can save their jobs by curating, choosing and aggregating links to spots outside their corporate sites, deeming what is the best stuff on the Web.

Here we go. The mainstream media is so desperate to maintain its middleman position that it wants you to depend upon it as an arbitrator of what is worthy and unworthy. Look how it jumped on the blog bandwagon, hoping to cash in. MSM has confused form with function. Just because professional news organizations shovel the same old crap into a blog format doesn’t automatically mean that it’s better.

This curation garbage is another way to reinstate the gatekeepers. As Steve Rosenbaum explains in his post, “Can ‘Curation’ Save Media?” (link below), a “trusted content curator” will select “contextually relevant material” that is “brand safe” for advertisers. Of course, it’s all about the $, nothing else. Rosenbaum observes “curation shifts the balance of power back to brand and publications.”

If the New York Times doesn’t link to an independent blogger’s site, does that mean his work is invalid? Readers decide if his blog is shit or candy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan to be fucking “brand safe” any time soon.

Curation is another variation on the top-down vertical model. The elitists in their lofty media towers will still decide what is newsworthy. If you’re an independent voice not in line with corporate America, good luck with getting noticed.

Editors and publishers. I’ve put up with these gatekeepers too long. Now I can bypass them, go directly to an audience. I’ve never been impressed with those in power who have no creative talent, who don’t know how to write. Like I say, those who can’t do, teach, and if they can’t do that, they edit or publish.

I don’t need a hack editor to get his fingerprints on my work, “fixing it,” and then if it succeeds, he takes credit, but if it fails, it’s my fault. (At the same time, I could use a proofreader or copyeditor, someone with real skills.)

So screw the vertical top-down model. Let’s keep our horizontal peer-to-peer freedom. Don’t depend upon the MSM for linkage. You have the tools to curate on your own: bookmarks, Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.

Let the MSM dinosaurs go extinct.


* * *

Here’s what I “curated:”

Editors as Curators: What’s Taking So Long?
By Mark Potts

Can ‘Curation’ Save Media? By Steven Rosenbaum

2 comments:

TourPro said...

Ironically, I've curated this article because the local MSM uses my aggregation services.

John Warren said...

Well put. The MSM has jumped on the blog-wagon but still doesn't quite get that it's not just having a blog that gets you readers. It took them this long to figure out what bloggers knew from the start - you need to link to relevant and interesting information outside your area of expertise, not think you are so smart as to provide it.