One Man & His Blog

#likeminds - Andrew Dubber on medium-appropriate curation & creation

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Wow. Interesting start. Andrew Dubber just started by saying that he was with Ed Milliband in opposing Steve Moore’s ideas on the Big Society.

He’s thrown away his presentation, and is perched on the edge of the stage, doing his talk. His viewpoint is that the media environment we are in manages the way we perceive the world. It’s important that we have iPhones in our pockets, that we use e-mail, that we’re on Twitter. That’s different from sitting reading a book on our own.

Five ages of media:

  1. Oral Age (storytellers)
  2. Scribal Age (literacy is power)
  3. Book Age
  4. Electric Age (recordings and broadcast)
  5. Digital Age (as different from Electric Age as it was from the Book Age).

So, we need to do things that are appropriate to the internet. Oh, right, he’s making the old point that early TV was pointing cameras at theatre. Yes, we know this.

His experiments around curation are figuring out about how to do medium-appropriate work online.  Music is a process not a thing – but we archive is the recordings, and nothing else. We archive an idealised version of it. He decided to put a music event called Aftershock online, by giving all the musicians involved a Flip video camera, and then “uncurating” what they recorded. It was uploaded as it, with purely descriptive tagging. It created a multiple first person narrative, and people had to find their own way through it, by choosing the videos. They created their own narrative, and, over time, they become invested in some of the characters, following them through events.

Dubber is writing a book – well, a blog, which he hopes will become a book. He’s concerned about the fact that 95% of the recorded materiel produced by the record companies is mouldering, unavailable, in their archives. The decision not to release it is purely commercial. He’d rather not curate archives – he’d like to see everything archived and tagged, because other people may find value in it later. His values are not the only standard. There’s no shortage of space online – why not?

Social object theory – there are two things online; conversation and things people are discussing – the social objects. If you share everything, then people can curate on top of that. People can make money from making meaning.

Curation project: Curated by interesting people


Written by

Adam Tinworth   Adam Tinworth

Adam has been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 25. He currently works as a consultant and trainer, helping people do better, more engaged online journalism.


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