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Curation and Web Presence

Essay Question: What roles does curation play in creating and maintaining a Web presence? The word limit for this essay, excluding the reference list, is 2,000 words.

In order to answer this question with the appropriate amount of analytical depth, you will need to understand and engage with ideas about the information ecology and with the readings provided in the relevant section of the study material. You will also need to seek out other appropriate material to develop your ideas and support your argument.

Your essay should include a fully formed introduction and conclusion; be written in paragraph form, present a clear argument, and meaningfully engage with both texts provided in the unit and credible independent research. You may find it helpful to read the module on ‘Essay Writing’ in the Help Modules. Your essay should follow the latest APA referencing style.

You will be assessed on how well your essay:

* Presents a clear, coherent, and concise argument.
* Demonstrates understanding of key concepts, including curation and the information ecology.
* Relates conceptual understandings to illustrative examples.
* Engages critically and meaningfully with relevant unit readings.
* Selects and incorporates relevant independent research.
* Follows conventions of referencing (APA), grammar and expression appropriate for academic writing.

Some Potential References:

Read both of these pieces:
Wright Lee, M. (2011). 7 Stellar Examples of Branded Content from the Fashion Industry. Mashable. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2011/01/03/fashion-industry-branded-content/.
While this gives a relatively shallow discussion of brands’ use of curated content, it will give you a brief introduction to some of the ways in which curated content can contribute to a coherent sense of identity. Although the article looks at work associated with brand names, these ideas are also applicable to work produced by individuals. You may want to explore some of the sites listed here to get more of a sense of how curated content is used to express brand identity. Think critically about how these sites work: what do they do well? What do they do poorly? How do you feel about brands using other people’s content as part of their marketing strategy?
Helmond, A. (2010). Identity 2.0: Constructing identity with cultural software. Retrieved from http://www.annehelmond.nl/wordpress/wp-content/uploads//2010/01/helmond_identity20_dmiconference.pdf.
You may already have come across this article in Web 101, but reading it again will refresh your memory and allow you to apply Helmond’s ideas in the context of what you have been learning about curation. Helmond gives a brief overview of some of the theoretical work on identity as a performance before looking at how our performance of identity online is changing. As you read this, think carefully about “the scattered web self” which Helmond refers to (2010, p. 7), and about the ways in which this applies to your splicedtogether page.

You may also choose to visit these sites:
Teenage Bedroom. (2011). Retrieved from http://teenagebedroom.tumblr.com/ and
The Burning House. (2011). Retrieved from http://theburninghouse.com/.
These blogs each showcase two levels of curation. Both sites have a clearly-defined topic and presentation style which frames the individual posts, creating a coherent sense of identity that draws together posts by different authors. The posts themselves are striking, albeit limited, examples of the ways in which curation can be used to perform identity.

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