December 9th, 2012 by CASUDI

What exactly is curation, other than the buzz word de jour? What is collaborative curation, other than something I tweeted for the first time during #Blogchat last Sunday.

Here’s how I see it, and please contribute if you have a better way of telling the curation, collaboration & context story.

A few weeks ago I took this image of a local buck, from the deck off my kitchen.

On its own it’s just one of many images I collect and file; we all collect lots of images; but that’s just “filing in categories” or maybe you prefer aggregation, another buzz word!

The day after I photographed the big buck, I saw my house guest jump up from his early morning cappuccino armed with his iPad, creeping out onto my rain-washed deck in his bare feet…….see below; it’s @Nickkellet in action!

Now I have context! Now I have a story!

The image of the buck now has context, and can be associated with or sequenced to the second or third image of Nick, to tell a story. A story which might be about why people photograph wildlife from their decks, or house guests who are distracted from their cappuccino by big bucks, or simply shooting wildlife with an iPad!

Check out the REAL story at the end of this post; Nick is co-founder of, a start up that understands collaborative curaton.

Next I share the story of Nick shooting the buck on, and that’s social sharing or social curation IMO, rather than collaborative curation. BTW, the team at were fabulous during the recent #Blogchat hosted by @mackcollier,  check them out, I am.

Social sharing with more legs is content syndication, and covered by @CKBurgess in # 5 of her recent post on Five Top 2013 Trends for Small Biz…… 

How about Collaborative Curation?

This is my story: Three wildlife photographers in the field filming the same eagle nesting sequence?

Later cataloging this event taken through the lenses of three cameras, telling a story using all three points of view, putting the random film sequences into context “The Story of an Eagle Feeding it’s Young”?

This is just one way of illustrating “context” from my film making days. Context brings relevance and meaning.

Today we also have platforms like Pinterest or for collaborative curation.

On Pinterest we create collaborative “curation” boards where people share just about anything, even the images of wildlife taken from their deck. So far I am the only one posting and sharing on my Pinterest wildlife board, please join me and bring your wildlife!

On we collaborate (crowd source) by curating lists of things with contributors from around the globe adding thoughts, ideas with a similar or same contextual thread. It’s powered by real people, real feelings and real emotion and brings relevance.

Collaborative curation is where crowdsourcing meets curation!

On the opportunities for collaborative curation are only limited by your imagination. Check it out.

Are you engaging in collaborative curation on Pinterest? Anywhere?

Special thanks to @problogger who is the inspiration for this post and who did an amazing distillation of curation in 140 during the chat?

CASUDI Designing Success.



14 Responses to “COLLABORATIVE CURATION 101”

  1. Linda Bernstein Says:

    Hi Casudi
    I love the idea of collaborative curation. That’s what a collaborative board on Pinterest, a good one, should do ideally. (A bad one is just aggregation, pins and pins and pins.)

    I also love the pictures of Nick. Indeed, I’ve seen him sneak around with his iPad doing stealth photography. Nick has the most interesting iPad I’ve looked at – I mean just his apps and the way he organizes them. Nick’s iPad is a great example of curation. He picks and chooses and then groups.

    It’s funny, but I’m still not entirely sure if is aggregation or curation. It is certainly collaborative, which is its beauty. With, there are all these people working on the same thing, adding to it. It’s curation in the way it saves, but it does not pick and choose, which I think of as curation. With I think Nick has gotten to the heart of social, making possible something we all love to do – make lists – and letting us share them.

    I see bucks like that at my country house every now and then, and I never think to take a picture. We hate the deer, but as we do not eat venison, we don’t shoot them. They take the bark off my trees and eat everything, including things they are not supposed to, like juniper.

    The wild life I would add to your board would be our bluebirds. Twenty years ago when we first had our country house, bluebirds were still endangered in the NE as a species, and we put up nest boxes as part of the bluebird trail. Each year we help our bluebirds struggle with the swallows for the nestboxes. This year we had six nests all together, each with 4-5 eggs. Bluebirds tend to be territorial in the summer, and the couples don’t have much to do with the others. In the winter (and, yes, the bluebirds have started wintering over, strangely) they form groups, however. Yesterday there were ten males sitting on the posts of the deer fencing around the house. But before I turned my head, they had flown off. One would have to be quiet, still, and patient to capture a good photo of my blue friends.

    I also didn’t know that you knew Nick. I certainly have to know you better. I find you know everyone!

  2. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Thank you so much Linda, for writing a post length comment.

    I hope you are right and that I do know everyone, maybe that should be everyone who is famous! Yes, lets connect. We tried last January but you got snowed in and then almost a year went by!

    IMO is curate and collaborate ~ therefore collaborative curation ~ maybe the create ingredient as well. The collaborate comes in two ways ~ adding “meaningful” content to a list and in the crowd sourcing ~ which could be voting & commenting & more.

    I am CASUDI on Skype and will always make time to connect with you.

    PS I will invite you to my wildlife board ~ would love to add some bluebirds!

  3. Brian Driggs Says:

    I see what you mean, Casudi, and, while I’m not on Pinterest,, or, I’ve had similar aims on – Would you believe it? – Tumblr.

    Just like you might collaboratively curate wildlife imagery (or design or any number of topics) on Pinterest, for example, you can do so via Tumblr, though I suspect with a bit more functionality.

    A glimpse into my vision… Imagine a handful of individuals on our Gearheads-United.Tumblr account are attending the same rally race.

    One is walking around the service park, where the middle and back of the pack are still wrapping up repairs on their cars. He’s taking pictures and posting them to Tumblr.

    Another is stationed near the end of the penultimate special stage, taking pictures of the competitors as they slide past his location, sideways at 60mph, dirt and gravel flying wild into the woods. He, too, posts pictures to Tumblr.

    At the finish line, a third team member is getting quick impressions from finishers at the front of the pack. He takes advantage of the free wifi at the hotel to upload these larger files to Tumblr.

    GU+ (the Tumblr account) is pushing all of this to Twitter, and all three of these people are tagging their uploads with the main event hashtag. The event’s followers are exposed to deeper context and a sense of being right there in the moment with anyone else, despite being all over the world.

    Oh yeah, and there are probably a dozen other people doing likewise at a couple-three other events elsewhere in the world at the same time, making the “channel” even more valuable.

    Sadly, I’m the only one who seems to “get it” on this particular Tumblr, but it will happen. I just have to market it a bit more. I believe the future of journalism depends on this sort of thinking; collaborative curation. It’s not just a buzzword – it’s a way of life!

  4. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    If it’s a way of life, why is it so hard to get the reality of this idea across? People are more into “look at me” and though everyone is saying “social” “engage” “collaborate” are they really interested in anything but “look at me”? I actually think if you really distilled what “social” means to many people you would find it is “showing of” “look at me” and in fact quite anti-social. I love collaborative curation as it is truly sharing (doing together)and giving meaning and context to something that might never have meaning.

    As always thanks so much for your thought provoking comment Brian! The conversation continues……..

  5. Mack Collier Says:

    Hi Caroline! This is interesting because it reminds me of one time I saw a photo set from where a group of people were on a photowalk. It was fascinating to see how 5 different people photographed the same items in different ways. How 4 people took different angles of the marquee on a movie theater, while the 5th person was the one that noticed the bird’s nest in one of the letters and focused on that instead.

    In a way, I think #Blogchat is like that, it’s interesting to see how conversations are formed in ‘real time’ during the chat, then to see the recaps that people do the next day when they have had time to think about what was discussed. Different content created around the same topics.

    Thanks so much for making me think :)

  6. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Mack, thanks so much for visiting Designing Success again. During the recent presidential debates the prize tweet of the election campaign IMO was something like “What is more interesting than what is said (in the debates), is the people that tweet what they think was said” I am wondering if this is also collaborative curation?

  7. Linda Sherman Says:

    I look forward to seeing at BlogChat again tonight Casudi!

    Are you having an issue with CommentLuv? I see that Mack’s last blog didn’t show up and we know he is set up for CommentLuv. I tried my latest blog website and my first blog website and neither worked.

    But I also see that I’ve lost track of where to sign in to check on my CommentLuv profile. Mack, can you please direct me to the website?

  8. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Hi Linda, Thanks for visiting Designing Success. Yes, always a pleasure to engage with you on #Blogchat. No clue why my “CommentLuv” plug appears to not be working, so will check on this today. Back at you later.

  9. Nick Kellet Says:

    Ok Linda, I’m confused.

    You write “list posts” all the time, you perhaps just don’t see it that way. The last two posts of yours I read were list posts

    Both were acts of creation not curation

    You wrote a post about memory and included a list of tips
    You wrote a post about that got featured on TV – again it included a list of tips.

    You may have curated the ideas from other posts over time , but to me that was “creation”. You weren’t adding opinion to the works of others – for me that’s curation.

    The only way to experience Listly is to make a list post and embed your lists in that post.

    Try it. Make a list that is “created” and make a list that is “curated”. They are very different experiences.

    Both are experiences that Listly supports. ie we are not just curation and aggregation. I’m not sure I really understand aggregation. For me that’s a step on the way to curation.

    Let me share some examples

    Creative Writing via Lists

    Curative Writing via Lists

    The other thing is lists don’t just have to be for list posts.

    10 ways to do x
    13 things have to know about y before z

    Lists are just a way of organizing your writing

    Lists make your content more consumable. Lists make you more shareable.

    I think my big comment and observation is you are not going to get it from the sidelines.

    Participation and experiencing it first hand is the only way.

    I’m not sure what you are not getting but…

    An extra dimension of Listly is collaboration – getting people to contribute. eg a List of Twitter Chats.

    There’s a whole art to that – a lot of which is about not dumping all you know into a list. Collaboration works when you leave people room to contribute. Collaboration is not about a single person, it’s about the group. if the group care things happen.

    Caroline has experience a lot of those challenges with EQList.

    Asking for help and input is a very different style of journalism or writing. Writing in an unconclusive style. Then you start with a fraction of the answer and ask the audience to participate. I think this is going to be big, but perhaps I’m biased.

    People want to contribute. They want a voice as a first class contributor and not just as a commentator.

    Now I’ve got into rant mode:)

    I didn’t figure on writing a blog post as a response. Perhaps I should expand on this into a full post:)

    To pick up on a theme Caroline and I joke about – we need rant buddies;people who will listen to your rants. They can be quite cathartic. Sometimes you just got to vent!

    I think I’ve just had a infographical inspiration. I told you ranting is good.

    There are three distinct and overlapping Listly experiences


    Wow. They are very different when I think about it. Venn Diagram coming soon. Thanks Casudi (Caroline), Linda etc al.

    I hope you don’t mind my rant. I think I will write a post.

  10. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Thanks Nick for great input in what has to be the almost longest comment on any post I have written. I’ll leave the response to Linda, if she be so inclined!

    BTW I see the infographic C,C & C with three overlapping circles….because they do overlap!

  11. Linda Bernstein Says:

    Love your rant, Nick.
    We agree on a lot of things, but I have a slightly different idea of what curation entails.

    In a way my lists in articles are curated because I decide what to include. But then my editor edits them. So where does that leave me on the scale between creation and curation?

    My main point about curation is that it is a process that involves thought and selection. Curation does not mean throwing links out there. It often does not involve Twitter. In fact, in a way, Twitter is the anti-curation because it can become automated so easily. Automation (I don’t mean scheduled, which often is an act of curation because there’s a thought process involved) works against the principles of curation and is one of our biggest enemies online since it create noise that makes it so much harder to find the signal.

    Thanks again, Nick, for your thoughtful response and dialogue.

  12. Arnie Widdowson Says:


    Two questions. Your thoughts relative to collaborative curation on:

    Content production values, design, and aesthetics.

    As a continuous iterative process – collaboration during curation genesis through and including consumption.

  13. Marketing Needs to Create, Curate + Listen - 3 Ways Use List Posts | UGC list creation, content curation & crowdsourcing. Says:

    […] Bernstein) on a blog post on collaborative curation written by @Casudi (Caroline Di Diego) on her Inclined to Design […]

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