Curators & Creators

In an information landscape that looks like the illustration below, who has more power?

Who has more power: the creators (they create that massive pile of stuff the guy at the computer in the illustration above can attempt to consume), or a trusted curator(s)? A Few Social Media Influencers Are Shaping AI, published on IEEE Spectrum, got me thinking about this question yet again. Here’s a critical moment from that article:

The UCSB paper analyzed more than 8,000 AI and ML papers, considering both social media mentions and the number of citations. Reviewing tweets from December 2018 to October 2023, the researchers concluded AI/ML papers shared by two specific influencers had median citation counts two to three times higher than those of the control group.


This is just one paper. However its core finding is more consonant than dissonant with my experience of navigating an overwhelming information landscape, which is: curators are powerful. They’re powerful because they perform a very valuable service, and it’s easier to leverage their curatorial contribution than it is to be informed about everything.

Are curators more powerful than any individual creator? Weeeeeelll, that one of those “what’s the sound of one hand clapping” unanswerable questions.

For sure, though, curation can be a powerful, valuable service when done well. How could the attention and trust that curation earns you be used to generate leads? Hmm… 😇

More good stuff: