One of the most popular buzzwords in library-land at the moment is ‘curation’. It’s used to describe anything from old-fashioned collection development to human filtering activities on social media like Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. The word ‘curator’ gets used too liberally to describe the stuff people do on the web and, in my humble option, dilutes and pollutes the professional things that librarians do.
Librarians are so much more than assemblers of information, but let’s begin a discussion in this column about the difference between ‘curation’ and the activities performed by librarians. Is there really any way what someone does on Facebook is remotely like the work product of information professionals in special libraries? READ MORE: Curation: Buzzword or What? | Lucidea
Since 2013, the Internet Archive has provided access to old console games, arcade titles and even MS-DOS classics like Oregon Trail. Internet Archive curator Jason Scott explained how and why the non-profit preserves history by making sure games from the past aren’t lost as we move on from old hardware and software platforms.
“The thing about computer software history is that it is both adored and ignored,” he said, comparing how we preserve software to how we preserve old film. “For decades, people would throw out floppies containing classic games without a second thought.” While there are museums where you can see old hardware and software as exhibits (Scott called out the Computer History Museum in Mountain View as a particularly good example), these limit access to those who can actually make it to a physical location, which doesn’t take advantage of the fact that software doesn’t have to remain trapped in a particular computer.
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) today announced a $1.9 million grant to the Internet Archive, the world’s largest public digital library, to develop a search engine that will provide unprecedented access to its extensive collection of webpages, also known as the Wayback Machine. The search engine will allow researchers, historians, and others to retrieve data and information from the billions of webpages and websites stored in the Wayback Machine and will ensure that there is a comprehensive, open record of the Internet that is accessible to all. READ MORE: Laura and John Arnold Foundation Announces $1.9 Million Grant to Develop Internet Archive Search Engine | Laura and John Arnold Foundation
The Spotify playlist “1200 Years of Women Composers: From Hildegard To Higdon,” reveals that women started shaping what we now know as classical music far longer ago than most of us realize. (If you don’t have Spotify’s free software, download it here.) The playlist, which contains over 900 pieces and will take you days to listen to, begins in medieval times with the Byzantine abbess, poet, composer, and hymnographer Kassia and ends with female composers from around the world not only living but (especially by the standards of those who write orchestral music) still young, like Misato Mochizuki, Helena Tulve, and Lera Auerbach. This comes arranged by Spotify Classical Playlists, whose site describes how the playlist offers not just an anthology of women composers, but also “a brief history of western classical music…” MORE: 1200 Years of Women Composers: A Free 78-Hour Music Playlist That Takes You From Medieval Times to Now | Open Culture
Library for All is now working in impoverished places around the world on a simple mission with a major impact. Rebecca McDonald came up with the idea for Library for All after visiting Haiti in 2010. The country had just experienced a major earthquake, and the schools there were having a tough time getting back to normal—even more so, because they lacked basic education materials.
“The reason we started the library was that, everywhere I went, they didn’t have any books. And if they did, they were in English when people either speak Haitian Creole or French. They were good paperweights, and that was about it,” McDonald says.
Library for All now works with 10 schools on the island, with plans to partner with nine more. The model is simple. The nonprofit assembles a highly curated local-language collection of books that schools access through Android tablets.
Documentaries aren’t just informative; they’re also fun to watch. And if you’re a fan, Documentary Heaven has thousands of titles to choose from. The website doesn’t host any movies itself, but it curates and embeds free titles from sites like YouTube and Vimeo. You’ll find both the popular and the obscure…Topics range from politics to economics to biographies, and some topics are a bit more specific: gangs, conspiracies, evolution. You can browse these topics from their list, or use the search tool to find something specific.
I tried accessing ShoutFactory! content this morning (Thursday, February 5) but content is not yet playable/accessable on my desktop or iPad. I’m interesting in checking out Twilight Zone, Bushido Man and Dreamscape. An error comes up “Sorry, the requested video is not yet available on this device.” Content may be accessible later this afternoon or there may be an issue with accessing content from Canada. The About Us page states “SHOUT! FACTORY TV is a free-to-the viewer, ad-supported video offering containing full-length television shows, movies, specials, and original content viewable through desktop computers, mobile, tablet, and “over-the’top” devices such as Roku…In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America.”
The big four broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC — don’t really have specific brands. They’re nebulous, offering drama, comedy, reality, and whatever else they put on the air. They’re the giant department stores of TV. Cable channels are more like specialty stores. ESPN is for sports fans. Nickelodeon is for kids. TNT knows drama.
The same is now happening with streaming services. We have a “big three” — Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. We have offshoots of TV networks, like HBO Go and Showtime Anytime.
And now we’re starting to see the rise of specialty streaming services, like one launching from Shout! Factory. Previously known for releasing DVDs of films and TV shows other studios didn’t want to, Shout’s new streaming service carries the same philosophy to the world of online TV. It’s filled with classic shows and movies that are hard to find elsewhere. It’s got more of an eye toward curation than building a platform. It’s built off of others’ software.
Content curation is a critical aspect of an organization’s social media and content marketing strategies. Used correctly, it has the power to inspire, influence, and impact the way your customers are making purchase decisions. Watch Ashley Brookes, Senior Brand and Content Manager at Hootsuite as she shares real-world tips on how to curate content to ensure social success, plus best practices, metrics, and scalability for social content.