A few weeks ago, I ran across this quote from Media Bistro’s FishbowlNY: “Ah, curation. Another lofty new* label. As far as we can tell, “curation” is to “aggregation” like “online magazine” is to “blog.”
Which led me to observe: As long as there has been a Slate, I’ve been confused about its use of the metaphor magazine to describe itself.**
Which then led me to conjecture: If Slate had skipped the magazine metaphor when it first started in 1996*** and focused more on the “we’re a new kind of medium that serves as a curation and aggregation platform for what’s important to smart people” they would probably own the Washington Post today, rather than the other way around.****
*New? Not sure what that means, as I registered the URL “CurationMedia.com” in 2007.
***As you may recall, Slate first lost lots of Microsoft’s money. For a time (a year), Slate believed in the magazine metaphor so much, it charged readers a subscription fee of $20 per year. After readers decided such a paywall was a brickwall, Slate continued to lose lots of Microsoft’s money until it was ultimately acquired by the Washington Post where it is very profitable because it is aggregated by interns who “work” for Demand Media. Actually, I made up that last part about it being very profitable.)
****If you need help connecting the dots on that statement: Google News aggregates news. Slate.com is an online magazine.