Curation properly begins with a mission statement, whether you’re a content creator or a researcher assembling resources: What is it you are trying to say? What does your collection represent?
What is the business of literature?, by Richard Nash, is one of my all-time favorite essays about authorship and publishing. The entire piece is phenomenal and this bit was perhaps my favorite:
It was a sign, almost one hundred years ago, of the book beginning to achieve what most technology will never accomplish—the ability to disappear. Walk into the reading room of the New York Public Library and what do you see? Laptops. Books, like the tables and chairs, have receded into the backdrop of human life. This has nothing to do with the assertion that the book is counter-technology, but that the book is a technology so pervasive, so frequently iterated and innovated upon, so worn and polished by centuries of human contact, that it reaches the status of Nature.
Add that to Instapaper and settle in for some thought-provoking reading.
Bonus link on a related note is Fetishizing the Text, by Kieran Healy.
My hope is that people don’t use this second chance at a decade old technology just to build NetNewsWire with popovers, a Tweetie-like sidebar and Twitter and Facebook sharing. The future of RSS isn’t in the feeds itself. It’s in figuring out how to extract the information out of those feeds and present it in an interesting and non-overwhelming way.
Search is an interface for accessing the archive, just as the front page is an interface for accessing the news. The archivist’s task is to build an interface that offers a better experience than search.
Such a great article about archives and their potential for highlighting the ongoing value of writing. I appreciate the emphasis it places on human touch. Someone once told me that, “Great content doesn’t scale. You always need someone to have their hands on it.”
Took a bit of a break this afternoon and watched Linotype: The Film. Really great documentary about what was, for many years, revolutionary publishing technology. It’s a little crazy to realize that the gap between idea and mass publication used to literally require liquid metal poured one line at a time.
Earlier today I started Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I’m already half-way through reading it. A fantastic read with the right mix of tech, books, and intrigue.
With the craziness of running a WordCamp last week I didn’t have much time to read through my Instapaper queue. Thankfully, I had some extra time to catch up on things tonight. Interestingly I had a lot of articles that hit on similar themes. Last… Continue reading →
But tools can only go so far. In the end, it comes down the writer. In writing, the friction that has to be dealt with the most is that which takes place in your head. Not from your tools. A good writer can change thoughts, opinions and even worlds, regardless of the tool or platform used.
I strongly believe digital books benefit from public endpoints. The current generation of readers (human, not electronic) have formed expectations about sharing text, and if you obstruct their ability to share — to touch — digital text, then your content is as good as non-existent. Or, in the least, it’s less likely to be engaged.
Word. Art Space Tokyo is a gorgeous site and I bet will drive a lot of digital sales, in addition to readers.
Blogging is beautiful, it elevates the human spirit and enriches public life…I remember discovering how easy it was to blog, not so many years ago, and I really hope that lots of people are still discovering how easy and how rewarding it is every day today.