Cultural Storytelling

The Curation

A Reflection on the Curation

The story above can best be classified as a “long form curation.” According to Content Curation Techniques, when you pull from multiple sources and tell a narrative or a story, you’re creating a long form curation. I’m not sure you can classify my curation as “storytelling,” because it doesn’t necessarily have the beginning, middle, or end that Content Curation Techniques describes, but it is also not the “short form curation” because of the abundance and variety of sources curated to create a narrative.

Kanter’s process of curation most closely resonated with what I worked for in the above curation. She describes content curation as:

“the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme.”

Rather than present my readers with a collection of links and allowing them to draw their own conclusions, I worked to “cherry pick” the content that its “important and relevant to share,” and put the resources in context with “organization, annotation, and presentation” (Kanter, 2011).

I found that most of the sources I curated in the above story did something similar to my process and to Kanter’s process. They chose an “angle” from which to discuss the topic, and then pulled in sources and statistics and content around that theme. This is the “sense” that Kanter describes: they chose to leave some things out, and chose to include other things. Most of them also chose a “side” almost in an attempt to persuade their audience that either the millennial generation indeed deserves this reputation, or that the millennial generation is treated unfairly. A few also chose to tell the story of the middle ground, pointing out that while a few common traits can probably be identified, it usually doesn’t work to vastly generalize a large group of people into a monolithic identity. In all of these, I found that they utilized the element of conflict: they juxtaposed what is “said,” or what “people commonly believe,” against what they say is “true.”


Content Curation Techniques. (2013). Retrieved from

Fry, R. (2016, April 25). Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from

Hess, S. (2011, June 10). Millennials: Who they are and why we hate them. TEDxSF. Retrieved from

Hill, C. (2016, June 21). Millennials engage with their smartphones more than they do actual humans. Market Watch. Retrieved from

Kanter, B. (2011, October 4). Content curation primer. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Main, D. (2013, July 9). Who are the millennials? Live Science. Retrieved from 

Rose, F. (2011, March 8).  The art of immersion: Why do we tell stories? Wired. Retrieved from

Stein, J. (2013, May 20). Millennials: The me me me generation. TIME. Retrieved from 

Steinburg, S. (2015, August 21). Millennial vs. Boomers: Habits and characteristics. Parade. Retrieved from

Tanenhaus, S. (2014, August 15). Generation nice. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Taylor, T.C. (2016, March 23). Workplace flexibility for millennials: Appealing to a valuable new generation. Thrive. Retrieved from

8 thoughts on “Cultural Storytelling

  1. Martha says:

    Valerie, first off a simple compliment on the aesthetics of your piece. I have yet to create a piece that does not look junky. Your piece is visually pleasing and ordered in a logical fashion.

  2. Skip Via says:

    I enjoyed this post very much on both levels–the archive itself is interesting and nicely presented, and your comments do an exemplary job of summarizing exactly what it means to tell a story via curation. It’s probably true that “narrative” would be a more appropriate term than “story,” at least in the classical sense of the latter term, but by doing exactly what Kanter suggests–sifting through existing information to present a thematic viewpoint–you’ve given the reader a good sense of how millennials are viewed. In that sense, your inclusion of the “other story” at the end was a strong choice. There is a popular sense of millennial behavior and values, and that sense is largely supported by data, but there are always multiple sides to every story. My sense of your archive is that you tried to present a rounded picture of millennials rather than to simply support the prevailing mythos, and it worked.

    I think that’s different than “choosing sides.” Obviously any author/curator will bring his/her own values and perspectives to a narrative. In some cases, the intentional omission of certain elements could result in the creation of propaganda intended to influence opinion rather than to simply inform. I’m not sure I’d use the term “cherry picking” to describe how you’ve approached this project, though. You can’t include everything–and if you could, what would be the point?–but you didn’t omit information relevant to the discussion even if it didn’t directly support your point of view. I think that adds credence to your narrative.

    Very fine work, again.

    • admin says:

      That’s true, Skip, “cherry-picking” and “choosing sides” have a pejorative connotation that I didn’t necessarily intend. As you suggest, it is more about sifting through information and selecting (again, curating) rather than “cherry-picking,” and it’s more about presenting a particular perspective than “choosing a side.”

      • Skip Via says:

        I’d agree with that. It’s partly semantics, but if I had to categorize your post in terms of intent I’d probably label it something like “informative” rather than “persuasive.” That’s a compliment, by the way.

  3. Krista says:


    I really enjoyed reading your post about millennials. Your post was engaging and easy to follow. I especially found the technology driven section very true and frightening. It is very disheartening to see that millennials engage more with their smartphones than actual humans. I also feel that it isn’t just millennials that engage with cell phones. I went to dinner the other night and I noticed many older people on their phones instead of talking to the person right across from them. I see this as a noteworthy setback in society today. Very interesting topic, thanks for sharing your thoughts and information!

  4. Martha says:

    “Rather than present my readers with a collection of links and allowing them to draw their own conclusions, I worked to “cherry pick” the content that its “important and relevant to share,” and put the resources in context with “organization, annotation, and presentation” (Kanter, 2011).”

    That statement has bounced around my brain since I read it. It is news, regardless of how hard you try, there is always an editorial slant due to the data you select to include.

  5. tatiana piatanova says:

    I really loved your Storify narrative for a number of reasons. It is logical, well-organized, and even though most of the stories you have selected do take a side, your narrative does not read as one that has an agenda. I think this is hard to do when you curate on any subject as ultimately we bring our own biases into our choices. However, you succeeded in presenting a well-rounded picture without a “hidden” message or your own “side.”

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