I became captivated with computers in the early-mid ’90s, as the world wide web began to reach the consumer market. I was a total computer nerd, but never took it seriously.
I had no conception of how the world would be transformed, and ultimately decided that technology was simply one of many potential material pursuits. I took off to gather experience and pursue meaning, which kept me apart from the tech I loved, for most of the time.
After years bereft of meaningful direction, I needed a re-boot.
Finding safe haven where I could freely pursue a new direction and self-education. While I had been paying scant attention to the broader cultural movements or the advance of personal computing, the world had become transformed.
Feeling the pain of lost opportunities, I quickly realized I could have done almost anything if I had gotten serious about tech as a kid, I could have built a much nicer life for myself by that point.
Yet, I could see that the world has only begun its digital transformation, and opportunity abounds.
I’ve always loved to read and consume information, so I began writing freelance, in order to make some money while educating myself. If I could get paid to read, I thought… Now, that would be the ticket!
I hadn’t spent much time with the written word in a while, could barely keep my eyes focused on the screen, and I didn’t know anything about the modern tech landscape.
Learn some markdown, and get blogging!
My style was rough, to start, but my dedication to internet search and relating accurate and precise information landed me some content gigs related to Bitcoin and data science.
Fed up with all the empty content dominating search results, I started keeping track of useful information. I used only a fraction of my background research for the articles I was writing, I thought I might collaborate with other information aggregators.
I wanted to make lists for various histories surrounding my topics of interest, since it’s a lot easier to understand anything if you can see where it came from and how it developed. Somewhere along the line, I realized I love information discovery and keeping track of fast moving information streams a lot more than I like writing.
Curated Lists: the Gold of the Internet
Coming upon a list of relevant materials someone else already sorted for me, that’s even better than finding a single source. Why write an article when I could make endless lists which could become a foundation for a variety of articles?
Then I thought “what if I could map out the various systems of information surrounding my subjects of interest.” This is the biggest challenge in tech that hardly anyone is working on. Sure plenty trying to write algorithms to save themselves the work of curation, but no-one is really tackling the problem head on.
Automation is just eating up jobs left and right, while curation is a purely human activity. You can augment curation, but you can’t automate it. You need a human to determine the value of a given resource in relation to the rest.
I see internet research and digital curation as making up a potentially massive portion of the future labor markets. This huge sector of the economy just waiting to transform the world.
I’d like to nurture that potential and help to create that reality!
A bigger wikipedia isn’t the answer, but a wikipedia full of curated lists might be a step in the right direction.