A few years back web aggregation seemed to be all the rage. Technologies such as Yahoo Pipes and custom developed applications such as the one I spearheaded for Kantara Initiative became popular for aggregating news and content on portals and websites.
Fast forward to today and web curation has become an incredibly popular medium for aggregating, publishing and branding content on the web. But as curation continues to grow in popularity, issues related to attribution are increasingly becoming a hot topic.
Authors of original works and organizations publishing unique content have understandably raised concerns about having the names of others associated with their work on curated pages. Some industry analysts have joined the attribution discussion by calling on the communications industry to take the lead in ensuring proper attribution of curated works.
While there are ongoing conversations about standardizing attribution for the curated world, a single method has yet to be consistently adopted.
I’m seeing the h/t (hat-tip, a reference that originated on Twitter) and via as two of the most common forms of curation attribution. My current favorite is using the word SOURCE to clearly call out authors and outlets on curated posts. This is the method I currently use for the Russ DeVeau Sustainable ICT Daily – one of several topics I curate – and the method I see as fair to authors of original works.
While formal attribution isn’t part of everyone’s curation strategy, I believe giving a personal shout-out to the authors and outlets that produce the stories I select for my curated sites is an important tactic as the curation industry continues to evolve.