I became captivated with computers in the early ’90s, as the world wide web began to emerge. 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 pursue meaning, which landed me off-grid for a bulk of the time. A decadent decade later, I needed a re-boot.
The world had become transformed. It was clear I could have done almost anything, if I had stayed with my love for tech, I would be a lot further ahead in life by now.
All the same, I see that the world has still just begun its digital transformation, and opportunity abounds.
I decided to make a go at working online, perhaps as a writer, on account of my love for reading, and aquiring quality information. Somehow, I thought, If I could get paid to read… Now, that would be the ticket!
I hadn’t spent much time with the written word in a while, and I didn’t know anything about the modern tech landscape. I started by learning some markdown, and practiced blogging. My style was rough, to begin with, but my dedication to information landed me some content gigs related to bitcoin and data science.
Having lived in a world where no-one really thought too much about the incredible new tech bestowed upon the world. It was all cool, but few foresaw the implications. So now, it’s easy for me to see that if I simply position myself in the Bitcoin ecosystem, and make myself useful, life could be pretty neat in a decade or two.
I got fed up with all the vacuous content that dominated my search results, and decided to start keeping track of valuable information. Since I used only a fraction of my research for the actual content I was preparing, I could keep a list of source material on various subjects until I needed to write about them.
Then 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 making curated lists a lot more than I like writing.
I’ve come to see curated lists as 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 it seems 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 curation as this huge economy just waiting to explode… and maybe I can help give it a kickstart by showing what somone can do in a few years starting without a capital or a modern skillset, only a bit of runway and the desire to organize information.
A bigger wikipedia isn’t the answer, but a wikipedia full of curated lists might be a step in the right direction.