Curating the Curators

By Jantien Abma |

(FILES) This file photo taken on August 24, 2012 shows British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) and London Mayor Boris Johnson (L) pointing at each other as the London 2012 Paralympic Cauldron is lit in London's Trafalgar Square, on August 24, 2012. Prime Minister David Cameron made a last-ditch appeal to London Mayor Boris Johnson on February 21, 2016 to support Britain staying in the EU as battle lines hardened ahead of a June 23 membership referendum. / AFP / WILL OLIVERWILL OLIVER/AFP/Getty ImagesJust over three years ago, whitefox was approached by one of the larger on-line freelance marketplaces  (they had raised $ millions) to see if we’d be interested in helping them curate the part of their platform that related to publishing. I am assuming at the time a number of requests went out to different sectors.  It didn’t happen. We said no. I’ve no idea if anyone said yes. But it got us thinking at the time about the old adage, how does the guy who drives the snow plough get to work in the morning? Or more accurately, who is curating the curators?

Platform marketplaces are wonderful, transparent and open places for individuals to transact with each other. But can you always be sure that people are who they say they are? Or have the right experience for your needs? Are all editorial sensibilities basically the same, or does the discipline vary depending on whether your background is, say, books or magazines?

What seems to matter most to writers is that someone (who, it is acknowledged, knows what they are doing) vets the people they are going to have access to. Provenance is crucial for authenticity and trust. And the quality of the service. You wouldn’t go to a hairdresser or barber you weren’t sure knew how to cut hair. Just like you wouldn’t cut it yourself. No one would choose to look like Boris Johnson, would they?

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