By Bryan Kramer | Commentary

Collector or Curator? Becoming a Social Connoisseur

It used to be that you were a wine or art collector to be considered a connoisseur. These curators of their personal taste and beauty would search for pieces that fit a collection they would be proud to show off to their friends. Picking what went into their collection wasn’t easy, because it had to fit a certain rule set to showcase the very best. The very act of curating was an art form unto itself. True discerning curators never just share their physical objects; They share the stories behind them, about why each object was hand picked and the personal connection they had with the object that makes each share come alive.

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 2.24.47 PMToday’s modern day curator is a curator of knowledge. We have come to rely on the best to tell us what is good and what isn’t. Their history of shares heightens their status in some cases to social connoisseur, a title not easily earned. Right now, the supply of content is plenty, but someone who can guide us to know where to look and what to read saves us time and becomes a trusted connoisseur. A true curator knows the work put in to make something sing and the energy behind something.

You might be saying to yourself right now, “What does this all have to do with me?” Have you ever read something that made you stop and think….and you saved it? You’re a collector. The question is, how do you move from collector, to connoisseur?

Here are 5 ways to become a modern day social connoisseur:

1) It Speaks to Me – simply put, what you read or see has to touch how you feel. For me, when someone writes really well and gives me something beyond some standard word play, I save their blog to my RSS feed to see if they can do it again. If they pass the mustard, I start sharing their stuff. It’s not a one and done for me, they have the creative chops to keep giving their all. I can tell, and so can you.

2) Goosebumps – I know this sounds weird to say that blogs can cause goosebumps, but I really think that when you are passionate around something, the energy you put into conveying your ideas can be felt by the reader and make them think about it in a different way. It’s a human world, but the finest balance is delivering quality content with a human touch.

3) Deliver your Point – If it didn’t deliver and the author rambled, forget about it. A beginning, middle and end isn’t always needed, but flow does matter. Great storytelling has an arc to it, a poetic combination of thoughts, words and sentiment that when it works together, delivers memorable moments. This poetry is open to interpretation; I mostly don’t know where Seth Godin is heading in his writing, until BAM! He hits it home in a way that I’ll never forget.

4) Contribute to the ‘So What?’ – Today’s curator needs to understand the ‘so what’ of a story, then help to add meaning through their own interpretation. This is where the good stuff happens! Bottom line, the writer asks the questions, and the collaborative comes up with the answers. That’s what makes this new form of curation so different!

5) Understand the Shelf Life – News will always serve a purpose, but today’s news only last seconds. To build a story around something that drives a different perspective is what drives new opinions, conversations and communities. What you share reflects on your beliefs, so add something that lasts longer than a retweet.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Creators will always need curators and curators will need creators, it’s a symbiotic affair. Be the best of both and become a modern day social connoisseur.

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