Cory Doctorow on Curated Computing

(Image courtesy of Joi Ito)

(Image courtesy of Joi Ito)

Meanland guest Cory Doctorow believes that ‘the personal and the handmade’ are the future of content, according to his latest Guardian column.

He argues that while pulling together information in curated websites or iPhone apps is the future there are still two things that defy curation: the personal and the tailored. The personal is obvious (Doctorow reckons it is “pictures of my family, videos of my daughter, notes from my wife, stories I wrote in my adolescence”), but tailoring content is where things get difficult.

According to Doctorow when content is tailored for readers, it becomes possible to create monopolies deciding what is available to readers. He calls it “coercive curation”. And Doctorow, who believes information deserves to be free, has no time for that. He closes the piece “The only real reason to adopt coercive curation is to attain a monopoly over a platform – to be able to shut out competitors, extract high rents on publishers whose materials are sold in your store, and sell a pipe dream of safety and beauty that you can’t deliver, at the cost of homely, handmade, personal media that define us and fill us with delight

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