Lord of Curation Series: Howard Rheingold

Our Lord of Curation series presents to you some of the great curators on Scoop.it. They are here to share their insights and advice with you.


Howard Rheingold is a critic, writer, and teacher; his specialties are on the cultural, social and political implications of modern communication media such as the Internetmobile telephony and virtual communities (a term he is credited with inventing). Check him out at http://twitter.com/hrheingold, http://www.rheingold.comhttp://www.smartmobs.com, and http://www.rheingold.com/university “Rheingold U! What it is —> is —>up to us.”

-What is curation to you?

Curation, like making a website, is an act of self-interest that enriches the commons and benefits everybody. I need to search, scan, and select the best resources I can find for my own personal interests, and by making my choices available to others, I create a resource for many besides myself. Curation is also a signal to others who share my interests, people I probably would not have known or known about otherwise, who, in turn, suggest resources to me. I feed the networks of people who do me the honor of valuing my choices, and they feed me back. It’s about knowing, learning, sharing, and teaching, all in one.

-What is your best curating secret?

I have a number of persistent news searches on Google, Bing, and Yahoo that I scan as RSS feeds, along with other feeds. I select from among the best of these feeds, along with the sources that Scoop.it and other Scoop.it curators suggest.

-How has curation enriched your social media experience?

It helps turn a personal interest into a community of interest. I meet other curators, some of whom I follow on Twitter and Google+. It’s a way of finding prospects for my personal learning network.

-Your topic “infotention” attracts many readers. Could you explain what it means exactly and how it’s related to curation?

We are all confronted with conflicting needs in regard to information. We need the information that is useful to us, and we need it just in time and just in place. At the same time, we are overwhelmed, inundated, virtually paralyzed by a tsunami of information. Infotention is part attentional discipline — learning how to scan, select, decide, and deploy attention effectively — and part knowledge of how to use information tools such as search, RSS, dashboards, Pipes, and filters. I teach courses — http://socialmediaclassroom.com/host/mindamplifier4 — and workshops –http://www.rheingold.com/university/pages/infotention-webinar.php. Learners can sign up for email notifications at http://rheingold.com/university/ or contact me. (I also teach a curation workshop that includes Scoop.it –http://www.rheingold.com/university/pages/curation-webinar.php

The Lord of Curation Series is to be continued next week. Stay tuned!