Curate, Create, Klout and the Evils of Pinterest

Create or curate?



When I think of a ‘curator’ I think of an intelligent (but bland) guy wearing his one and only Brooks Brothers suit to a museum to look at old things and make sure those old things are in tip top shape.

Klout Styles: Curator, Specialist, Celebrity and other stuff

But then I noticed on Klout that there’s actually a subcategory called a ‘curator’.

Incidentally, Klout has become a new fascination of mine. If you’re not familiar with it… good. It’s basically a social media labeling system to designed by the cool kids from your high school to make you feel awesome … or not awesome.

As  ‘Brooks Brothers guy’ is my denotative definition of a ‘curator,’ here’s a little help from Mr. Dictionary:

Create or Curate

Curate or Create?

Some would say both. Some would say neither.

I’d be offended if I was labeled (by Klout or anyone else) as a curator. I realize that curating is an art in and of itself, yet each of us has something to create.

Make it happen. Ideate, originate, create.

Aside: maybe that’s why I get a headache in museums. I’d rather be making it than looking at it. Jealousy? Maybe…

My 7 year old inner artist is sitting on the bench if I’m a curator:

Coach, put me in the game. I can do it. Those other kids are good too, but I can do a few things they can’t. Please coach? Gimme a shot. Puh-leeeeeezzzze…



I joined Pinterest last week, and folks, it’s curation central. At it’s core it’s online curation.

+Pinterest Pros:

      • Great for Ideation. If I can discipline myself to spend no more than five minutes on the site, my ideator/artist will start churing and generate ideas off the curation.
      • Fun Way to Share Your Work. Pinterest is a bulletin board  of your favorites all in one place. It’s visual bookmarking.

+Pinterest Cons:

      • Time Sucker. Pin this. Pin that. Pinterest is like a casino: time does not exist inside it’s walls. Pinners beware.
      • Not for Dudes. Some would argue this point. But it’s not guy-friendly. Since joining last week I’ve amassed 11 followers. 10 of them are ladies. Perhaps I need to look for all the ‘pins’ on beards, beer and belching. Haven’t found ’em yet.

We do what we value.

We put our energy and efforts into what we love.

If we don’t know what we love, we’ll ride on the coattails of others month after month, year after year until our life’s curated itself into one magic coat-tail carpet ride.

Hmmm. Now I wanna check Pinterest to see if there are any magic carpets out there. Or maybe I’ll make my own…

What about you? How do you strike the balance of curating and creating?



Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • Pingback: THINKing » Creativity 2012 – Week #5()

  • Ideation! great new word/concept. I think I’m gonna have to pass on Pintrest for now. I am pulled in so many different directions that I don’t need something else to suck up my time. Thanks for the warning ; )

    • Andrew Zahn

      That’s a favorite word of mine: ideation!

      Pinterest is good if you can discipline your online time. Otherwise, time just slips on by…

  • I don’t think Klout will be here to stay unless they change. I’m testing out Pinterest to see if it will drive traffic to my blog. Got a few hits, but yes it’s for ladies for sure.

    • Andrew Zahn

      I don’t know that I get the whole Klout thing anyway. I keep thinking “who cares” whenever I see it… apparently I do if I keep watching it. Not sure.

      Let us know what your Pinterest results are if you come up with any Brent!

      • I have to submit my Klout and Google+ score plus my Alexa rank every time I apply for a paid blogging gig. Miraculously although my Klout is a measly 2, I still landed two gigs. So that’s why some care, and I wish I didn’t, but it does translate to cash in some cases.

        Pinterest is dominated by women currently because it lends itself so seamlessly to the visual fields of home decor, food, fashion…you know, the ladies’ realm. I’ve heard it drives many customers to etsy, but I haven’t ever thought to use it to drive traffic to my blog as Brent mentioned. Hmm, how would I pin a board to draw attention to my blog…maybe a board of coffee shop interiors, since I have a post populated with pictures of such? Gotta think about that one.

  • “Rather be making it than looking at it.” Yes! It’s a pet peeve of mine when I hear nonsensical sermons/talks that explain that some are meant to play support roles and some lead. Granted, there are different types of gits that lead to different vocations, but we are all called to create something! Of that I am convince. Nice post.

    • Andrew Zahn

      What if the great inventors waited for someone else to come up with their (insert name of invention here).

      What if we just all sat on the sidelines?

      What if we were only audience members. Erg, I can’t bear it… show me what you got right?!

      Thanks for dropping by Stephen!

  • Um, you actually went on Pinterest? Alrighty, then…


    It totally grok you on the ideation vs. creation thing. Not sure how well I’m doing, but I do know when I crash and burn, I get up again. And try. And keep trying.

    Balance has not historically something I’ve been good at…

    • Andrew Zahn

      1. Had to look up ‘grok.’ In my arrogance, I’d believed it was a typo. You have educated me once again.

      2. I’m sorry I looked at Pinterest. Ouch, I’m sorry I just typed that word again.

      3. I think I may have alienated some Pinterest fans (primarily the ladies) with this post. Only male commenters.

      4. Sorry I typed Pinterest again… and that last time.

      • hey, last time i checked, i’m a lady, and i don’t get it either. In fact, i was making fun of my husband for rooting around on it the other night. I was like “um, it’s too girly.” So, yeah.

        … to look up “grok” now.

        • Andrew Zahn

          Yay Christine!!!! So glad to have you join the boys. I just found a Pinterest for guys: but I’m still keeping my distance.

    • Chris Brogan and others are experimenting with Pinterest. If you are in photography or some other visual niche, then I bet it will drive a lot of traffic to your site.

  • Hmmm …

    I played Klout for a while and then got bored with it – at best it’s like a sort of cross between Monopoly and a trading card game with a bit of one-armed-banditry thrown in. I think it means very little in the real world and genuine “influencers” don’t seem to need it or bother with it.

    Pintrest is something I have steered clear of, knowing my proclivity for being sucked into things like that although I’m an avid “stumbler”. I think we are always at risk of “over curating”, it becomes cheap to click things that we “like” and the more we do it the more we devalue the meaningfulness of our curations and recommendations. There are moments when I have spent a few hours online, to suddenly wake up to the fact that all I have been doing (for hours) is “clicking on stuff” and all that has gone through my head is “that’s cool” “oh?” “wow!” “nice” “yuk” “great pic” – as if I have been reduced to nothing more than a right index finger and a brain that is mildly stimulated by a parade of information and images. That sort of thing has got to be the opposite of everything creative.

    I try to think in terms of “value added”. If I curate something I need to “add value” otherwise what is the point? That’s where creative curating comes in. When we see something our response has to be more than “click” – repost by all means but comment or respond or review or represent the item in a new light. In a museum the art of curation is about more than just putting something out there but it’s about making a meaningful collection or juxtaposition of complimentary/thematic items – so that the net effect will be more than the sum of it’s parts.

    Blah blah…

    Thinking out loud as usual 😉

  • Well, its good to know there is at least ONE other guy on Pinterest…..

    • Andrew Zahn

      Update: 2 guys now in my group! Up 50%!

  • I find myself being more of a creator than a curate. I think most leaders are. I would benefit from having a better balance between the two though. Something I’ll be thinking about.

    • Andrew Zahn

      I imagine at times you have to switch hats and do both… depending on the team, project, objectives…

      Thanks for reading and putting in your thoughts Dan!