You Are Not a Curator, You Are Actually Just a Filthy Blogger

“Curation is replacing creation as a mode of self-expression.” — Jonathan Harris @jjhnumber27 #creativemornings

— Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss) June 1, 2012

As a former actual curator, of like, actual art and whatnot, I think I’m fairly well positioned to say that you folks with your blog and your Tumblr and your whatever are not actually engaged in a practice of curation. Call it what you like: aggregating? Blogging? Choosing? Copyright infringing sometimes? But it’s not actually curation, or anything like it. Your faux TED talk is not going well for you if you are making some point about “curation” replacing “creation” because, well, for starters, “curation” is choosing among things that are created? So like there’s nothing for you to curate without creation? This precious bit of dressing-up what people choose to share on the Internet is, sure, silly, but it’s also a way for bloggers to distance themselves from the dirty blogging masses. You are no different from some teen in Indiana with a LiveJournal about cutting. Sorry folks! You’re in this nasty fray with the rest of us. And your metaphor is all wrong. More likely you’re a low-grade collector, not a curator. You’re buying (in the attention economy at least! If not in the actual advertising economy of websites!) what someone else is selling — and you’re then reselling it on your blog. You’re nothing but a secondary market for someone else’s work. Oh and also? You “curators” might want to be careful with your language….

“When you create digital tools that changes people’s behavior, you are not a software engineer but a social engineer!” -Jonathan Harris

— Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss) June 1, 2012

Oh, hey, you know who else was a social engineer?


In the 16th century, the poet was artist-king. The 19th: the novelist. 20th: the film-maker. I wonder if in the 21st, it’ll be the curator.

— Joe Hill (@joe_hill) May 29, 2012

Hey, how did we blow past “editor”? Why don’t the curators want to be editors?

Anyway, replace “curator” with “people who are really picky with what they share on Facebook” and maybe Joe Hill will be right on the money! Although I suspect that in the 16th century, if not “painter,” then actually the “patron” was the “artist-king.” (Commissioning is an art! Ask Pope Julius II!) And then that “editors” were the dominant influence in the 19th. And “studios” in the 20th. So I guess now either “ad sales people” or “web engineers” are at the top of the artistic food chain? Oh dear.