A guide to curation in community: The Ten-Book Rule for Smarter Thinking

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Sep 23, 2023

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A guide to curation in community: The Ten-Book Rule for Smarter Thinking

Curation is a powerful tool for community builders. It not only provides valuable resources for members but also allows community builders to gain a deeper understanding of their community. When we curate, we learn and connect the dots, uncovering new ideas that can be shared with our community. However, it is important to remember that community curation is for the community builder first and the members second. Before saving anything, we must ask ourselves if it is truly valuable.

In the world of curation, there is a concept known as the "Ten-Book Rule for Smarter Thinking" proposed by Scott H Young. This rule emphasizes the importance of understanding knowledge and applying it effectively. While ten books may not make you an expert, they can provide satisfactory answers to reasonable questions.

To begin with, textbooks are a valuable resource for gaining expert consensus. These books are written to represent the collective knowledge of experts in a particular field. By reading up-to-date textbooks, we can access trusted and vetted information quickly. They provide a solid foundation for understanding the basics and building upon them.

Another valuable resource for curation is academic monographs. While textbooks offer a general survey of a field, monographs allow us to delve deeper into specific topics. They provide a more focused perspective, bringing us closer to the answers we seek. By incorporating monographs into our curation process, we can provide our community with more nuanced and specialized information.

When it comes to learning about the world, there are two approaches: building up from the basics or learning for specific ends. Both methods have their merits, but after mastering the basics, the sheer volume of knowledge can be overwhelming. This is where asking more pointed questions becomes crucial. By narrowing down our focus and seeking answers to specific questions, we can navigate the vast sea of knowledge more effectively.

Now that we understand the importance of curation in community building and the Ten-Book Rule for Smarter Thinking, let's explore three actionable pieces of advice to enhance our curation efforts:

  • 1. Prioritize quality over quantity: When curating content, it is tempting to save everything that seems remotely interesting. However, if everything is special, nothing is special. Focus on saving only the most valuable and relevant information. This will ensure that your curated resources truly stand out and provide immense value to your community.
  • 2. Foster a learning mindset: Curation is not just about collecting information; it is about continuously learning and growing. Keep an open mind and embrace the opportunity to expand your knowledge while curating. As you come across new ideas and insights, share them with your community. This will not only enrich their experience but also deepen your understanding of the community you serve.
  • 3. Connect the dots: Remember that the power of curation lies in the ability to connect seemingly unrelated ideas and information. Look for patterns, commonalities, and connections between the content you curate. By doing so, you can provide your community with a holistic view of a topic or issue, fostering deeper understanding and engagement.

In conclusion, curation in community building is a valuable exercise that benefits both the community builder and the members. By curating content, we not only provide a trusted source of information for our members but also deepen our understanding of the community we serve. The Ten-Book Rule for Smarter Thinking reminds us to focus on understanding knowledge and asking pointed questions. By incorporating these principles into our curation efforts and following the actionable advice provided, we can create immense value for our community and foster a culture of continuous learning.

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