Curators. They help us figure out what to focus our attention on. Out of all of these songs, listen to these. Out of all of the data points, focus on these. Out of all of the books, read these.
They can be people. They can be algorithms (in this post I assume they are people). They are indispensible to those that seek to spend their time in a satisfying and productive way. They help us reach our goals.
Two traits are needed to become a curator. Experience and vision.
Experience comes from delving into the topic. Passionately exploring all facets. Experiencing the good and the bad. Curators have hit roadblocks and they have persevered. They have learned what works, and what doesn't. They wish they had known all of the things they know today back when they first got into the topic. The more they learn, the less they realize they know. The process of gaining experience is what empowers them to become a curator. It gives them the ability to start selecting the things we should focus on.
Experience is not enough. In addition they need to have a vision. The reason why they selected the subset of things we should focus on. Where are they leading us by selecting these things? What is the purpose of their curation?
Say you work for a technology company that is collecting a lot of user data related to your product. Data may include app reviews, Google analytics, and a variety of demographic data. Hundreds of data points. What do you do with all of it? What do you focus on? A data curator can provide a vision and tactics for what to do, what to ignore. Their industry experience paired with conviction empowers them to lead. To help us figure out what to focus on and why.
If you want to become a curator, gain experience and become an expert in the topic. Then develop a vision and have the conviction to tell where we should go and why.