What’s curating?

What’s curating?

CURATING is sharing content other people or organizations have published.AdobeStock_78293528

Our friends at Wikipedia say “Content curation is the process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.” So that could mean genealogy, blogging, organization, photo preservation, publishing, and just about any other topic of interest to family historians. When Ol’ Myrt here curates content, I make a point to credit the person who first posted the link even if he isn’t the author. I most likely would not have spotted the post if the other person hadn’t shared it with me. This is the fun part of social media – he tells two people, I tell two people and so forth. Eventually the word gets around.

Recently my Facebook friend Kate Challis asked about “internet etiquette” when it comes to sharing content on Facebook groups and pages. Ol’ Myrt’s response? “To begin with, trust your conscience. Right? Aren’t these questions well handled by our individual basic, built-in sense of propriety?”

Is there a legitimate reason to be curating content?

Absolutely. Why reinvent the wheel? If someone has written a compelling post about the use of your favorite genealogy software, complete with screen shots, why not share it with your friends? That’s what those social media buttons are for! Writers want to get the word out about their areas of expertise, their areas of focus. 90% of Dick Eastman’s newsletter is a short quote and the link to a worthwhile post by someone else. He happens to read different blogs than Ol’ Myrt does, so his shared content widens my learning scope.

Sharing isn’t copying – that’s a copyright violation plain and simple.

If it’s a full copy of my post it’s “splogging” and I’ll immediately process a DMCA Takedown. (See item 3 in For Further Reading below.)

Carol Stevens writes “Second, my simple approach has been for years, if you don’t want it borrowed, clicked on, shared, stolen, copied, etc., do NOT put it on the internet and don’t share it with any cousins that may at some time put it on the internet.”

Jo-Ann J. Schmitz Fitzgerald writes “I quote people’s ideas and stuff on my blog but I ALWAYS give credit.” Sounds reasonable.



Where do I draw the “sharing” line? If the author *isn’t* a genealogist and is posting no original content. Those folks usually have tons of advertising strategically placed around the curated content. They try to make themselves look like they are a legit website/genealogist. All they are really doing is using our catchy subject lines to draw attention to their sites in the hopes visitors will click through to their advertisers’ sites and earn them a little add revenue.


Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
Your friend in genealogy.

For Further Reading

  1. Judy G. Russell’s “Copyright and the weblink” published at The Legal Genealogist Blog (http://www.LegalGenealogist.com : viewed 1 July 2017.)
  2. Linking to Copyrighted Materials” published at the Digital Media Law Projecthttp://www.dmlp.org : viewed 1 July 2017.)
  3. “What is a DMCA Takedown?” published at DMCA (http://www.dmca.com : viewed 1 July 2017.)