Wireless Internet, mobile devices and social media allow us to connect, engage and share at the click of a button. The Internet shrinks the world by providing a free flow of information, allowing us to search, read and click forward in a path of exploration. Through this exploration, we are inspired to curate great content into our own work.
Curating content, whether collected directly or indirectly, is different than creating it. One of the greatest problems of the Internet is that content is often repurposed without crediting its creator or its origin. Giving credit to material found is imperative to keeping the Internet transparent and using it in an honest way.
A new campaign called Curator’s Code has emerged to help keep the Internet transparent. Curator’s Code seeks to honor the way content is discovered online by setting attribution standards for direct and indirect sourcing. Two ways to give credit to your sources include citing a direct link or “hat tipping” to a source of inspiration.
A link of direct discovery can be attributed with the symbol ᔥ or the word “via.” A direct link is needed when you are quoting, paraphrasing or mentioning material you found somewhere else. While direct sourcing is the more traditional style of citation, Curator’s Code revamps the method and emphasizes the importance of always including your references.
A link of indirect discovery can be attributed with the symbol ↬, the word “hat tip” or the abbreviation “ht.” Inspiration, story leads and information found in a roundabout way are all necessary to source. A hat tip is perhaps the most important part of the Curator’s Code because an indirect link is the easiest way for sourcing to be overlooked. The more honest and open you are about your ideas and their origins, the more transparent the Internet stays.
Curator’s Code is a new way of sourcing that standardizes the process and normalizes the action. When citing becomes second nature to everyone using the Internet, we can keep it open and available without infringing on anyone’s great ideas or thoughtful work.
At Otherwise, we have adopted the Curator’s Code. We have always believed in giving credit where credit is due, and this new method keeps sourcing easy to understand and effective to use. No matter what method you choose, the most important thing is that you always attribute your source.
Illustration credit: Josh Epstein, Designer at Otherwise Incorporated.
Emmaline Niendorf is an Integrated Marketing Associate for Otherwise Incorporated.