I could be a more effective Social Curator

Yesterday I sat down to write a blog post about how I use Diigo for curation.  First I looked at Joyce Seitzinger‘s presentation on social curation at the EduTech Australia conference (Brisbane, 2 June 2015).  I’m glad that I did because instead I’m responding to Joyce’s more useful question “Are you an effective social curator?”

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Joyce defines social curation as “the discovery, selection, collection and sharing of digital artefacts by an individual for a social purpose such as learning, collaboration, identity expression or community participation. An artefact can be any digital resource, like a link, an article or a video.” 

Of course I could be a more effective social curator.  But how?

One element of Joyce’s definition that stood out for me was the purposeful nature of curation.  In early August I have an opportunity to present to a senior management team on creating business value through social networks and communities.  I downloaded the Social Curation Canvas and used it figure out how I could curate to help prepare this presentation.  As I started answering the questions posed in the canvas in the context of this presentation I identified some of personal strengths and opportunities across the four steps in social curation (as defined by Joyce).  You can take a peek at my completed canvas here.

Social Curation Process


I have an adequate set of discovery tools that I know how to use – Twitter lists, Advanced Google Search, Feedly, and Google Alerts (which I stream to Feedly).  I follow a number of blogs relevant to my presentation topic.  I checked what I already had in my collection that I could use for my presentation and found articles from Simon Terry, Harold Jarche, Altimeter and Wenger-Trayner that included useful frameworks to discuss business value from Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) and Communities.  I identified gaps in my collection in case studies and research with good metrics, so will set up more specific information streams via Google Alerts and asking my Twitter network.

I check my information streams sporadically and with inadequate focus. In the coming month I shall check the key streams relevant to my presentation twice per week during my early morning Professional Development sessions at my home office desk. In particular, I will look at the new Google Alerts I set up and my Community Twitter List.

I will also start interacting more with people on social  media who are interested in community management and ESNs.  This may be a long tail activity which does not directly contribute to my research for the upcoming presentation, but will yield longer term benefits.


I always skim through an artefact before deciding whether to add it to a collection.  I am drawn to artefacts that are clearly written / presented, and include useful frameworks, diagrams, or models.  I am more likely to collect if it has been shared or endorsed by someone whose authority or interest in the topic I trust.  As I prepare for this presentation I will be on the lookout for data, metrics and research rather than models and frameworks (I have enough of these).


Diigo works well for me.  It’s easy to add to collections, especially using the applet on both my computer and iPad.  It’s also easy to find artefacts using either tags or search.  My tags could be better organised, but this is not an near-term priority.  My collections under the ESN tag and Community tag allowed me to find artefacts in my existing collection of value for my presentation.


My primary audience for this presentation is my Senior Management Team, who do not use public social media for professional purposes and rarely interact on our ESN.  One of the goals of my presentation is to encourage them to use both so that they can experience professional value for themselves and awaken them to the possibility of value creation through more widespread organisational use of networks and communities.  So, while the face to face presentation is the key sharing opportunity, I shall also share relevant artefacts on our ESN in the coming month. My presentation will be more compelling if I can demonstrate value using artefacts and ideas discovered through my network.

My secondary audience for artefacts on this topic are people with an interest in creating value in organisations through networks and communities.  By sharing relevant artefacts with them on Twitter my Personal Learning Network builds and they may reciprocate with links to further relevant artefacts.  I will also share what I have discovered on the topic via a blog post after my presentation.

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  1. #1 by Cherish on June 28, 2015 - 11:40 am

    Great post thanks for sharing!

  2. #2 by Bruno Winck on June 29, 2015 - 7:01 am

    Nice Sunday evening read. I’ve been using Feedly for the first time. It was a test for new features to move around my reading lists. I was using wordpress.com reader for your blog before. Now I can also see how you plan to use feedly for curation.

    I like how you split carefully your curation process in 4 steps as near as possible from Joyce’s definition. One of the problems I face today is the never ending resurfacing of not so new posts via Twitter and Google Alerts. Via RSS they are new but less socially validated.

    From what I can read from your current interest it seems to correspond to the #KMers monthly conferences held by @stangarfield I attended several. There is an audio archive and Stan is very helpful. #ESNChat can be interesting also although it’s not in #OZ times but there is an archive as well and @RachelHappe can help.

    Agreed tags management is always a problem. I’m also facing that.

    Will read in more detail Joyce’s canvas, I’m also working on one, it’s canvas month.

    • #3 by Michelle Ockers on July 1, 2015 - 10:16 am

      Hi Bruno, I use Feedly just at the Discovery stage, then Collect in Diigo which I find very straightforward. As always for me the challenge is making time to do the sense-making with what I have collected. It doesn’t always need to be in the moment, and is sometimes more spontaneous, when I get a question or idea in my head and go back to my collection to see what I have that is relevant.

      I really appreciate your chat recommendations and shall check them out. As always, it’s valuable to have your input.

  3. #4 by jokeva on June 30, 2015 - 5:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I try to be an effective curator as well but time lacks sometimes. Your canvas looks like the PKMprocess of Harold Jarche: seek sense share. It’s a strong learning process! Your ‘selection’ could be the focus that sometimes is needed at the PKMprocess.

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