talk like a person

I ran across an interesting idea about connecting online:

Curating as in “A person who manages, administers or organizes a collection, either independently or employed by a museum, library, archive or zoo”

Click on the pic above of Steve Rosenbaum to go to an article by him called "Content is no longer king"

I heard Steve Rosenbaum talking about this on a podcast from last week’s On The Media Show (link to transcript and audio).

If I understand the idea, it is that when people link and recommend articles on line, they are “curating.” This is different from finding material via search engines like Google since Google uses ‘bots and super secret formulas to rank pages on their search results (algorithms).

This strikes at the heart of one of the uses I have admired and proposed over and over for the web: connecting and learning about stuff.  Rosenbaum seems to be in touch with the idea that “monetizing” everything online drains content at some level.

Howard Reingold has been teaching how to sift through the web to the gold of actual reliable content for years (see his Crap Detector 101 article here for a taste).  He applies critical thinking in a concrete way. Reingold is the reason I began using Twitter. He defined it as the “on-going present.” I continue to use it that way.

You cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are continually flowing in. Heraclitus

Which leads me to all sorts of random “curators” like myself who pass along ideas and links. It’s pretty easy to sift out the totally monetized tweeters not to mention the porn tweeters.  This morning I am currently following 1,098 people and organizations on Twitter.  I have made lists that allow me to further sift these people. The most important one for me is the “family” list in which I can see if people in my extended family are commenting via Twitter. But I also have lists of “good links” like Reingold, “news,” “conservatives,” “liberals,” and “church musicians.”

I “sift” the web using the techniques I have developed as a critical news reader and consumer over the years.  I see PR, propaganda, slanted reporting, partisan framing, and other methods of distortion as basically forms of dishonesty.

Faking honesty and authenticity is not that easy if one is looking for signs of commercial origins and propaganda in consumer information. It’s not that easy to “talk like a person” as the web designer advice goes when all you’re thinking of is the “golden goose” of making lots of money with the web.

I constantly detect fallacious argument technique in all areas of information dissemination including “curated” comments or even just comments from people I know and love. (once again here’s the link to a list of fallacious arguments… I continue to return to this list and it helps me think critically)

FALSE ANALOGY (apples & oranges) Description: An analogy is a partial similarity between the like features of two things or events on which a comparison can be made. A false analogy involves comparing two things that are NOT similar. Note that the two things may be similar in superficial ways, but not with respect to what is being argued.


Andy Carvin is senior strategist for NPR’s Social Media Desk. He blogs from the link above. Here’s a link to an interview with him about using Twitter to report from Libya (where no reporters are currently allowed):


Neil Postman – Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection « Critical Thinking Snippets

Postman died in 2003. He was an early critic of the impact of the media explosion on public rhetoric and someone I followed and read.  Ran across this article writing this post and had to bookmark it to read later


WikiLeaks Soldier Left Naked in Cell, Lawyer Says –

I think the Assange case is shaping up to be a paranoid’s dream of governments shutting down transparency.  Somebody is very pissed about WikiLeaks and is moving quickly to punish the perps. Or maybe it’s just me. heh.


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