from wikipedia

Harvesting Online as a Collective Learning Practice

by Augusto Cuginotti

Harvesting my Learning Online

It is approaching 5 years since I’ve started to write my thoughts online. An exploration of a journey that started with the first steps and its on the move.

Some asked me: why bother? The answer is two-fold. On one hand it relates to the challenge of unfolding my thoughts for clarity, on the other hand it means a space to design and invite others in.

I’ve never been a writer, all my thoughts have always been confined to doodles on the creative side and bullet points for the pragmatic ones. Writing has been a way of developing ideas on conversations that I’m exposed to and an opportunity to engage with whoever feels called to co-explore.

Why your own space? It is true that I could write notes on Facebook or one community Ning that I’m attracted to, but I wanted to host my own space to invite you to visit me and to connect with spaces that others are hosting around the www.

I wanted to be free to design as much as to write.

Blogging Carnival

Exactly! I am a big fan of blogging platforms because it opens up possibilities for connected individual spaces. It makes the blogosphere multi-voice and also multi-colour.

Working in your own space gets enriched with the exploration and interaction with other people’s spaces, communities of practice, social media, etc. This is one way that spaces get connected.

Curating Content

Another way of getting connected is to read the individual contributions of like minded people aggregated in one place. Many people have been selecting their own content by subscribing to feeds on Google Reader, for example, or using platforms to automatically or manually share articles, tweets and the like.

Curation is the process of selection and aggregation of relevant material for an audience. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you will receive a selection of my personal selection based on my interests.

Manual rather than Automatic

This selection is manual rather than automatic. Automatic platforms like and can do a good job, but their robot minds do not aggregate enough value.

Manual selection of interesting content, on the other hand, can be very time consuming for the individual. There is, of course, ways to make manual curation easier, so the choice of content is done by the individual, everything else goes to the machine.

Collective Curation

I believe that personal blogging should resist the collective massification sometimes offered by social media. Curation today is done either individually or as brand management. I’d like to explore the benefits of curation of content being a collective learning practice.

Imagine if you could receive a weekly e-mail with what your community of like-minded people explored and carefully selected, where colleagues could add comments about the relevance or questions that might have come up while reading.

Thinking of that I stumbled upon a curation platform that automates everything but the choice of interesting articles and have been calling people who are interested in “learning” to join me in selecting and aggregating.

If you read feeds in your computer, this might be something for you and can increase the learning of content aggregation and creation we find today in online communities.

Of course “learning” is my topic of interest and surely are of some others. If it’s yours, join me as a curator for News from the Field. If it’s not, how about create a collective curation space for what your passion is?

I didn’t really get a lot of attention on this Collective Harvest idea – perhaps it’s nonsense, but I believe it’s too futuristic for people to understand. ;)