The Curator Code


Netetiquette

I was triggered by a post from ↬ Oskar van Rijswijk, who uses the Curator Code in his blogs and social media to link to articles and attribute to people:

  • ᔥ indicates a link of direct discovery aka “via”;
  • ↬ stands for the common “HT” or “hat tip,” signifying an indirect link of discovery, to be used for content you significantly modify or expand upon compared to your source, for story leads, or for indirect inspiration encountered elsewhere that led you to create your own original content.

Every piece of information we encounter was put before us by someone who worked to create it, discover it, or bring it to our attention. Attribution is about acknowledging that labor and simply saying ‘thank you.”

The Curator's Code is an example of netiquette and refers to linking articles as well as people which inspired us with tips, tricks and ideas.
The Curator Code is created by ↬ Maria Popova:

Ideas spark other ideas. Attribution lets us give back credit to those who have enriched us creatively and intellectually by exposing us to ideas and content upon which we build our own.

The opposition

Not everybody is enthousiast about replacing 'via' with ᔥ and 'hat tip' with ↬.
Blogger Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, posted:

It’s completely misguided.
First of all, readers aren’t going to learn what those symbols mean. The distinction between them is also unnecessary and will lead to more confusion: I’ve been running a hybrid articles-and-links blog here for a while, I wrote the function that added “via” links to billions of reblogged posts on Tumblr, and I didn’t even know the difference between “via” and “hat tip” until today.
But the inscrutability of these little symbols is irrelevant, because most writers aren’t going to use them.
The problems with online attribution aren’t due to a lack of syntax: they’re due to the economics and realities of online publishing.

And as usual, it's up to you, reader. But now you know at least the meaning of this lttle symbols.

© Frank van Exter

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