From two years ago, but still relevant, Archive and Conquer on the "curation culture" that dominates today's art and design blogs. Swimming through the world of tumblrs - whether this one or this one or this one, or even this one - or limited membership image boards, like ffffound, or image-heavy blogs, like dezeen and space invading, can be a perfectly lovely way to spend an hour. But it always leaves me feeling slightly sick. It's super-condensed visual aesthetic excitement in an easy to consume format. Like drinking port and listening to eurodance, it's best done late in the evening when you're already a little buzzed.
Curatorial blogs can be wonderful when done well, like things magazine. But things is run by a group of former and current curators from the Victoria and Albert Museum. It's run by professionals and it feels like it.
Geoff Manaugh proved that you could blog your way to respect and authority in the architecture world (and a teaching gig at Columbia), but I wonder if it would be possible to tumbl your way to the same position? Could you run a tumblr that exercised such charmingly insightful collecting and achingly exquisite taste that you were invited to teach a studio at Princeton? Or could you demonstrate such a vast knowledge of so many different obscure veins of architectural practice that MIT invited you to teach history and theory?
Maybe collections of images on microblog platforms shouldn't be judged by their value for public consumption but instead by the educational value their offer their proprietors. A few months ago Jelena and I decided to start Pinterest accounts and see who could get the most repins, likes, and followers with our architectural taste. It totally changed the way I looked at architecture online. Suddenly the bar for what I liked became much higher. I actually stopped and thought about whether or not I really liked things, and, most importantly, what the Pinterest community might think of them. I looked at images much less passively and much more thoughtfully.
Neither of us racked up an especially high number of repins and likes, but I think we did pretty okay for only being at it for a day or two. The contest quickly devolved into posting pictures of foxes and red pandas so we decided to stop. I think Jelena came out slightly ahead. She deleted her account a while back but my page is still kicking around here.