Blogging as curatorial practice

CuratedBlogHaving heard Euan Semple speak at various conferences I’ve always been interested in what he has to say about knowledge, social media and networks. This quote encapsulates our own approach to blogging (on a good day I may add) and fires new thoughts too.

I like to point to interesting things. Whether stunning images, quirky insights, or ideas that interest me, they are all things that have made me think “Ooh that’s interesting.”

The things I find interesting say something about me. Shared links are like the clothes you wear, they project an image of yourself that you hope some people will find attractive and be drawn to. This process of curating stuff that appeals to you allows you to be found by people who share your interests. This helps start relationships and build networks. This is how you get to do interesting things with interesting people.

Curatorship adds as much value inside organisations as it does for freelancers like myself. If you don’t already have one you need to find a platform on which to carry out and share the results of your own curatorship. It can be as simple as sharing links by email.

Early link blogs were a way of pointing to stuff and saying why it was interesting. Nowadays there are all sorts of tools to curate your stuff from Pinterest to Pinboard, but the principle remains the same.

Take your curatorship seriously, become known for your discernment and as someone who finds good stuff, who adds more signal than noise. Do this and interesting things will start to happen.

It’s the last paragraph that made me think about those blogs and pinterest and Twitter I still follow, months and years after I started and those that have fallen by the wayside.

What do you think? Do you consider your blogging as a curatorial practice?

About TheBigForest

TheBigForest. A silly artist maker creating in felt and paper construction. Like us on Facebook: TheBigForest. Find us at Twitter : twitter/TheBigForestuk


  1. lundygirl

    I read a few blogs for quite a while before embarking on my own. What I liked most was the record of life over years – changes to family life, the development of the life of the writer. I want to put down things that I will look at in five years time and think that I made the most of the time with my family and I that increasingly lived a life that moved on from having young teens to independent adults. Change can be hard to accept – but it happens!
    I found this post really helpful in thinking through what I blog about and why. Thank you.

    • We followed a blog for while about someones move from full time work to travel to retirement. It was so interesting and made one think about life changes.

      I recall a comment that the really big life changes happen without too much thought but that the small stuff that doesnt matter – shopping, a cup of tea, servicing the car – takes up far more our decision making capacity. Its sometimes good to bring our awareness that small subtle changes are happening all the time.

    • Hello there…interesting what you say about changes, for I have a quite different view on things as it always seems to be a matter of what personal situation one is in. I am for example very keen on certain changes in my life and I can tell you that it sometimes feels those will take forever 😉 . I find it hard accepting that some major changes really can and usually will take years. And I find it hard not to know beforehand if you are truly happy and satisfied when you have reached a set goal. Thats where the decision-making can be tricky, I think, as today in so many areas of our lives there seem to be hundreds of(fake or true) chances and possibilities to choose from. In theory you can do ANYTHING you want…but I often find it “too much to swallow” and rather confusing. It´s like standing infront of a display in an American supermarket with hundreds of different brands of cereal or 20 different sorts of milk to choose from and then not buying any of it because one gave up …which is just another choice one did 😉 So I guess it´s good to go by intuition, develop a strong gut-feeling and turn off the thinking from time to time. I read quite a lot of books about these topics and found it interestig that changing little things in your daily routine can make a big difference in the long run when it comes to changing one´s mindset and the way of thinking…

  2. Very inspiring topic! My intention for starting my blog is much like Leonor´s…I am someone rather shy, almost mistrusting when it comes to social networks (yeah a bit oldfashioned and you will not find me on facebook) but I really had the urge to find a platform for all my various creative “outbursts” and getting into contact with people all over the world who are creative in their way of living, working, thinking, acting and therefore inspire me and / or feel inspired by my posts.
    So far I really enjoy it , because I could not think of another or better way to connect with so many different people who do cool and fun and interesting things. And it is always interesting and often very surprising to see what made them visit your blog and in the best case, in return you find their blog absolutely fantastic. I find it very important that a blog really has a personal touch and is not too perfectperfectprofessional or there is no info about the person behind the blog…because that kills my urge to “say hello” even though I might find their posts just great….

    • Hello, Cristine! 🙂 The internet has really helped bring about connections that otherwise would never exist. Isn’t it wonderful? And also, if one is shy, this also helps – saying hello behind a screen is much less daunting than in person…
      I have to say my Facebook is mostly for my business page, at the rest just tends to not be as interesting. I reckon my blogging will be a much more rewarding experience as I get used to the rhythm of it and ‘find my voice’ (I too dislike too perfect a blog, it looks impersonal – we have web pages for that!)

      Here’s to us all having wonderful blogging experiences! x

      • Really interesting thoughts about the ”not too perfect’ blog and also knowing a little about the person behind the blog. We split the social media between us here at TheBigForest although we discuss topics for posts etc. I (Michael) love blogging and twitter whilst Benjamin loves facebook and instagram. We tried to be a bit corporate and have one voice but it didnt work (not really a big surpise there!!) and now we (try to) make a virtue out of our different approaches.

  3. What an interesting conversation. I originally started blogging to have a record of projects I enjoyed, family stories I didn’t want to lose or just fun stories about daily life that I didn’t want to forget. A diary of shorts if you will. Little did I realize it’d be so much more. The social aspect of chatting with other bloggers about their projects, photographs, travel or family has become a big part of the experience. I think we’re all curators of interesting things in our little part of the world.

    • I sometimes think folks underestimate the interest of their thoughts and pictures to others. I recently was enlivened by a blog post on creating a garden in a part of the US I don’t know, for example and it was clear from the response to my comment that the blogger had never considered that the post would be looked at, considered and appreciated by anyone but her immediate family and friends.

  4. Curatorship definitely with my Pinterest boards; Not so much with the blog though. But I think both give a greater insight into me as a person rather than my Facebook page.

    • For me the facebook timeline has made it less easy to make interesting connections. The juxtapostion of images can be really powerful on pinterest. You can get lost in a creative space or search for something you need to see, and both activities are great fun!

  5. What an interesting question. I never though of this as a curatorship, just a collection of things I like or am interested in. I’ve noticed they tend to bring like-minded people together, yes, which is nice, but most things I do for myself (and am happy when others like as well). I guess kinship is something one often pursues, it makes one have a sense of belonging to a group.

    I just wonder if some people don’t share things to make themselves look differently: let’s say I don’t really like Mozart but I share his music on my Facebook because I want people to perceive me as an intelectual? Because I want to belong to a group I think is worthwhile? Hm.

    • We were recently in a gallery and overhead a conversation. The owner was saying he had no curatorial ‘policy’, he simply put together things he liked. He felt that he had no knowledge of what others would choose so it was the only way forward.
      Often the best blogs are just that aren’t they… a collection of things that interest someone. I agree with you, its best not to try too hard.

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