When using relatively new terms it is useful to try and agree on a robust definition... but arriving at a workable definition of what 'curation' might mean for public relations is quite tricky.
For some, it is about gathering and presenting information for organisational gain, and this is often qualified by stipulating that the process is mediated by subjective human decisions. In part, this has been given momentum by those who wish to differentiate a service for organisational benefit - it sounds good to have a content curator, and it provides a dynamic and attractive job description.
For the next edition of Online Public Relations David Phillips and I will need to distill a sharper definition that has the potential to become integrated into the vocabulary of PR theory. Any suggestions gratefully received.
Here are a few starting points.
Hubspot suggests A Marketers Guide to Content Curation.
"Curation is the process of selecting and aggregating information into one place that creates more value for information consumers, because they don’t have to spend time researching and visiting all of the original source."
Brian Solis broadens the definition to, in effect, include anyone who aggregates themed content
The traditional definition of curator is someone who is the keeper of a museum or other collection. In social media, a curator is the keeper of their interest graphs. By discovering, organizing, and sharing relevant content from around the Web, curators invest in the integrity and vibrancy of their nicheworks and the relationships that define them. Information becomes currency and the ability to repackage something of interest as a compelling, consumable and also sharable social object is an art. As a result, the social capital of a curators is earned through qualifying, filtering, and refining relevant content and how well objects spark engagement and learning
Social Media Examiner asks Is Content Curation the New Community Builder? and frames the argument around the creation of media content
"Value will be in the expertise of the curator, people will not read junk, and the best of the best curators will create digital domination with vibrant communities.
There are also a host of process (software) driven definitions, describing and promoting aggregation tools, the latest fo which is Storify. Such are tools are discussed by Matthew Ingram in The Future of Media: Storify and the Curatorial Instinct.
An example of the creative synthesis model of curation is Social Media Content Curation
“News, Trends and Content Curation about Social Media: one Universe to allow people to get access to more specialized sources, created and curated by Giuseppe Mauriello." Mauriello uses ScoopIt, explained here...