Monday, July 15, 2013

to curate or not to curate

When Hamlet says "To be or not to be" he gives the impression that he is making a conscious decision based on thoughtful analysis.  In a world where actions speak louder than words, however, he also gives the impression that he's dithering.  In the beginning of the play he knows what he has to do, and he even seems to know what he WILL do, but bringing himself to act on this awareness is more complicated.

So it goes with your online identity.  However clear our own impressions of ourselves may be, it can be difficult to convey our inner selves and thoughts to an audience.  This is why Montaigne was such an important writer; his attempts to capture his real-time thinking on paper gave us the essay (which, contrary to popular belief, means "to try" and not "five paragraphs of suck.")  This is also why you are now such an important writer.  What you say, what you don't say, what you post, what you don't post-- it all adds up to an impression of who you are and how you think. 

How much of that impression is intentional?  When you write a blog post and click "Publish" are you imagining the effect your words and images will have on your audience?  When you read someone else's blog/site, what conclusions do you draw about the author?

Everything you see in a museum is there by design.  It is curated for a purpose.  Read this article on curation.  Then, reflect: How do the artifacts you wear, listen to, put on your bedroom wall etc. convey a sense of who you are and how you think?  How can you optimize your blog to help your audience understand the person who created it? 

Your situation is both simpler than Hamlet's and more complicated.  You don't have to worry about "not to be"-- that's not an option in Open Source Learning.  No one gets to be invisible.  There is no back row on the Internet where you can hunch low and hope to remain unseen.  But Hamlet only had two options; once you decide To Be, the real question becomes, Who do you want to be?  To everyone who sees what you put online, your curation becomes the story of your learning life.  

1 comment:

  1. I want to be a morally grey character; that person who's in the in-between of simple labels such as "good" or "bad". The more complex the person, the deeper the analysis of the individual's hidden characteristics.

    You could argue that everyone is a grey character of sorts, but to be truly grey is to be truly misunderstood and unsuspecting. I want to be relatable in my cynical passivity and hatred for corruption, pride, and ignorance.