What is a 21st Century Curator?

By: Jaime Clifton, Research Curator

After unveiling their new curation feature a year ago, Twitter has finally made “Moments” available to everyone. This storytelling tool invites users to aggregate tweets, photos, videos, and GIF’s into compelling curated narratives complete with a title, description, and cover photo. Whether it's Snapchat or Instagram, it seems as though every social media platform is releasing some new storytelling tool, but this one is different. It’s perfect for stitching together content sources that further contextualize select themes or stories that are unfolding on the site. And it doesn’t have to just feature your own content. You can share content created by other users thereby extending your reach and potentially increasing engagement. For users curating creative or educational “Moments”, it can help contextualize blog posts, conversations, or even live-tweeted content from conferences. With endless content in the Twitterverse it ultimately helps users illuminate specific content and archive it in their profile. 

As I research the loaded term “curation”, I think it’s important to note that specific aspects of traditional curatorial practice are adopted outside museum institutions and reimagined to fit our modern modes of communication. Exhibition curation takes years of planning and development, but it’s the spirit of that process (interpretation, communication, and engagement) that has taken over the web.    


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