Oh I apologize if the way I came off was being defensive. I was simply providing tangible examples. I think it's safe to say that there are people whom I respect enough to not feel emotionally bothered with when replying.
However it is weird to equate critical thinking into the conversation of fad words though. Especially digital fad words.
If anything, it would be pseudo-skeptic to deny the existence of a term on face...nay Dilbert value.
The critical thinking way would be to do as what you have done with Maslow's idea and slice through the fluff from the truth. I can only surmise that it is not your fault but mine for being a poor communicator that you feel I have failed to bring this things to surface when I felt that was what I was already doing. In my previous post alone I (attempted to) answer this question: what exactly do you intend it to mean when you use it?
At the same time, the bullshit factor of buzz words here is that Workflowy doesn't state it is a social curation tool. The designers might not even be thinking of social curation when they design the app. Yet here's the flip side though. Is Workflowy better off because of it? I say no. A big part of social curation is the social. Actually social here doesn't mean sharing except that it can be shown to the public/friends that get permission. What in reality it is hinting at is that export and import can be cool.
...but in order to be cool, it has to be personalized to more casual needs and layed out in better ways. Bullshit buzz words or not - there's nothing confusing about that especially for technical people. Export/import and presentations was always an important and controversial issue in all walks of life but software developers have often tacked it on if not been slow to adopt to this. Web developers focus too much on mobile. Desktop developers focus too much on caged databases. Had Workflowy been more of a social curation tool maybe it would have focus on a desktop compliment already. Maybe.
If this is still confusing, here's the bottomline. Curator as a word especially in a digital world? Yeah, there's a lot of bullshit in that. The average blogger can be a curator simply by blogging. You won't know whether he's a good or bad curator at that. You might not even sniff it because blogging is based on popularity and niche circles much like social networks. Social curation though - you can see a bit of the person's identity through that as it's their personal collection. Not in an entirely privacy invading way but like a well researched blogger making a blog post. The difference between the potential of social curation design and blogging is that blogging asks for the reader to have an interest in skimming through archives with little way of organizing a story except maybe via chronological and tag based random clickings. Social curation could potentially adopt the concept of stumbling upon data that Stumbleupon originally popularized before that service was hijacked into a social media category and combine it with the innovations of annotations (PDFs/Diigo), personal website scraping (Scrapbook+/Surfulator) and combine it with the bundles of an e-book.
For word origins I often refer to this site: http://www.etymonlin...ndex.php?term=curate
late 14c., "spiritual guide," from M.L. curatus "one responsible for the care (of souls)," from L. curatus, pp. of curare "to take care of" (see cure). Church of England sense of "paid deputy priest of a parish" first recorded 1550s.
...and for dictionaries:http://www.onelook.c...m/?w=curate&ls=a
an Anglican priest who helps a more senior priest more...
to be the curator of an exhibit in a museum more...
On top of this, if you search social media in the dictionary:http://www.onelook.c...ocial+media&ls=a
You'll have to go to such anyone can edit sites such as Urban Dictionary or Wikipedia just to get a "dictionary" entry.
Such is the commonality of many digital words. I don't see what's weird in that. Yet I'm sure despite the lack of this, you would know that what the dictionary defines as Twitter
is not the same as the social media service known as Twitter.
On top of this, you could simply google for a definition and links such as this would turn up in the 1st few pages:http://www.quora.com...laborative-filtering
The main difference to me is that curation is more than filtering (whichever form you give it): curation is about giving context.
A filter will select content. A collaborative filter, content based on what others and you did.
A curator will not only do that but add context: comment, analysis, format, pictures, ... Why they felt it was relevant, why they agree or disagree with that content.
Look at how the same piece of news is titled differently by say CNN and Fox and Al Jazeera: it's the same news but the context can be way different because each time, a human being - not an algorithm - gave his own twist to it.
To cut through the fluff, social curation is beyond context. It is perspective. Context can be everywhere. People can have context from upvoting and downvoting and liking an entry. Yet that's social media.
Social curation as it is commonly understood and implemented by many services is a fad word to unify the way people collect and personify such collections to bypass the filter problem from collecting such items.
The theoretical aspect of it is to take the mindset away from the collector so that they could simply collect and put more fluid and natural wording metadata to their collections instead of the dead as molasses aspect of tagging. It is a mindset to take into account the manner that people not only collect in different ways but they consume their collection in different ways as well as take into account the what if of what happens if they present this data to another human being. In short, it is an experiment towards something that can change the way we bookmark, annotate, share, relate, blog etc.
Of course origin-wise, the problem remains that it is a buzz word. However as most buzz words go, there was a prelude to this and the prelude is that as new services come and go, such services are often wrongly categorized and while those categorization helps, they also fail to be buzz words but one needs buzz words to influence those web developers to create and design a service that applies to the buzz word.
An example is Twitter's follow button. While it is a crucial feature on par with the "mark as read" buttons of rss readers and the footnote feature in word processors, no one was copying it. No one even understood how or why it needs to be copied for usability. At least that's how it was if you read the digital media and ask most of the early bird users. There was a demand for it but no one simply find it cool/necessary or needed.
As it stands with most concepts, someone had to hype it. So someone did. My first introduction to a social curated compared service was Storify and while I do not know the origin of the buzz word, it cemented to me why social curation was both necessary and important. At least for me.
One reason being is that even before I encountered social curation, I was social curating and the concept so enamored a poor communicator like me that when I first encountered a service that somewhat hinted to social curation (though it didn't advertise it as one) I wrote in my profile:"I use Diigo because it's a great service, certainly the one I most depend on. I wouldn't know how to read as much websites without it's features. The Diigolet button looks like the developers were considering Opera users. It was one of the few web services where support was present to the point that it will be hard not to be introduced to Maggie even though I didn't really look for the staff. It is still in my opinion one of the key features in building up a competent web service.
So all in all, you have community, developer support, innovation and the underdog quality feel of a well made "before it's time" web application. Man, the only thing that would convince me not to use it is if the developers looked like they forgot all the stuff that got them the users, the features and the general stability of the service.
I mean, I've heard some like Mashable think Diigo has failed so there's always that doomsday looming in my head that one day they'll just drop the service but man oh man, hopefully they don't.
I don't have the cash to donate to them but this is like THE new hope for a more productive web if not the few soldiers on the quest of going against the grain of web 2.0 being more about infotainment than "fun research" community that really really just works and isn't just for the experts and the rich or the mainstream users so finally I use it because even though I don't have the cash, I want to use it as a way of showcasing my support for such an app that deserves to be right there at the top and hopefully it can only improve from here on out."
*Note that this was way way before such controversies as this article
Now has most social curation services reach Diigo's level? No, I don't think so. Which is why it's so difficult to simply define social curation like one would define social media when Digg first became popular.
Diigo was what I considered the first Web 3.0 service when it was first released. For me, the only other innovative service on par with the tag of Web 3.0 was Dropbox because both of those services have qualities that you just couldn't point to anywhere as a total package.
When Diigo first came out, it had the most external social bookmarking service importing feature (which it dwindled down by ver. 3) and it's premium features, were not premium features and it also captured embedded youtube videos. It was a perspective that at that time I've never seen offered in any other free service nor I've ever thought a bookmarking service couild do. After all (even though it didn't) it gave you the capability to eat up nearly the entire portion of the social bookmarking side of the internet...and then some.
That is what modern social curation tools are aiming for.
As a definition, it is as large as the semantic web which is why it's so hard to define in a short manner without sounding like buzz words and it being a buzz word, also doesn't help it's case.
But as an tangible design, it's a lot more specific and that's what gives it life.
Storify first inserted the idea of a search engine where you can collect data via drag and drop and present it as a personalized edited collection.
PearlTrees does to social bookmarking what Goalscape does to outliners which is give you results that you wanted but you weren't searching for. Most of it is just due to it's mindmapping-like interface but to call it simply mindmapping would be false.
Scoop.it aims to push the focus more on content than authors. It is blogging without the pressure or the destiny of a blog to be judged on it's author rather than it's content.
Subjot edits the follow button so that instead of following the users, you follow subjects which lessens the noise.
Uncram takes the Zemanta model of creating diaries by recommending explanations for entries you posted. It also experiments with a like button that also serves different emotions such as thanks or agreement.
Ifttt.com takes the problem with exporting data from different services and uniting them.
Workflowy creates a fluid filter search engine that redefined how outlines are filtered and managed.
Each of these designs redefine what used to be simple subscription models utilized by RSS readers.
Each of these are able to do this because instead of trying to value
your personal data and identity (at least less so than say something like Facebook), social curation defines itself as services having the perspective that (me) is less important than my data and that as good as many "Web 2.0" services has been, at the end of the day... not everyone desires to see how many upvotes an entry has, not everyone wants items recommended to them, not everyone wants to read the latest linkbait blog article. There are people who simply want to be informed. Read up on things they want or need to read up on. Have simple ways to collect and reread what they collected. Have simple ways to extract what they read and show it to another person without going through hoops and have ways they can interact with such presentations/stored notes to make it easier or more enlightening to review them.
Unfortunately this potential also means that where social curation's definition starts to stray towards incredibly tangible, incredibly present, incredibly existent definitions...the potential of the service strays off towards theoretical concepts again. No different than what semantic web features entail once people talk about social media vs. MSM or social bookmarking vs. browser bookmarks that sync. Social curation's potential (and in turn it's definition) lies in that place where one day people who can't hack it/who can't use bookmarks have a service designed like a bookmark for others but one for them. That one day people who can't collect without getting disorganized, have a way to get themselves organized without needing or wanting to get organized. That people who can't cut through the mass exposure of rss or feed-like features such as push entries like Facebook or Twitter, have a way to still consume such services with less noise. It is as it says on the tin: a way for a personal user to have a personal library but unlike a library like say MediaMonkey or Calibre, a library that's more like a museum. A museum where one does not need to be a master metadata librarian in order to mass collect and mass consume their collections without becoming confused or even worse buried under our own inferiority to better human beings.