Introducing The Curator’s Code

My studiomate Maria *just* launched The Curator’s Code — a movement to honor and standardize attribution of discovery across the web. (This is so dear to me, I can barely breathe as I type!)

While we have systems in place for literary citation, image attribution, and scientific reference, we don’t yet have a system that codifies the attribution of discovery in curation as a currency of the information economy, a system that treats discovery as the creative labor that it is.

This is what The Curator’s Code is – a system for honoring the creative and intellectual labor of information discovery by making attribution consistent and codified, the celebrated norm.

Read Maria’s post explaining The Curator’s Code in detail.

Or go straight to The Curator’s Code site and download the Bookmarklet.

Maria, I am so proud of you and thankful for making this happen! This is huge! And big giant props to Kelli Anderson for designing the site.

UPDATE: There was a lot of discussion happening around the launch of this over the past two days: Daniel Howells wrote an interesting blog post and I followed many heated debates over on Twitter. I just want to clarify one thing:

I don’t care if anyone adapts to Maria’s proposed symbols for attribution or if people continue using a simple via/HT or ~. All I care about is that people *do* attribute their findings. Why? Because it shows respect *and* most of all, it allows us to discover news sources. The ‘via’ is oftentimes a virtual door into a magic new world that I didn’t know existed.

I am just glad that this attribution conversation is taking place.

13 Comments leave a comment below

  1. I need to look into this concept a bit more, but my intial skepticism is that this will end up being as meaningless as the trail of reblogs on tumblr has become…

    The two main things I focus on when sharing content is making sure I include a link to the original source or a link to the site I found it on (as long as that site has a direct link to the original source).

  2. Props to Kelli Anderson for making it look so pretty, too.

  3. Huge indeed!

  4. A lot of what I use is content “lovingly stolen” from other websites, but always presented with a direct link to the exact page from which the content was taken.
    I’ve seen a lot of content become re-appropriated by websites who remove the creator’s signature; this kind of dishonesty will always exist. But it’s most important to get as close to the initial creator as possible. Even if you can’t track the creator down, at least give readers the location where you found it.

  5. One of my biggest pet peeves is that Mies Van der Rohe never gets attributed when people say “Less is More”.

  6. I think this Curator’s Code is definitely not brilliant in this way it is proposed, and it will be surely criticized.

    Anyway it could be a first step in the direction of defining some new patterns for working on the internet.

    We’re all so familiar with the use of © or ® or whatever that we tend to forget that they were invented for a specific purpose and so we cannot limit ourselves in using symbols or methods defined in the past instead we need to introduce something new.

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