Why I'm Curating the Internet

“Ah, but you may as well try and catch the wind.” – Donovan.

Trying to gather up all the various threads of the Internet and corral them onto one page may seem like a fool’s errand. But I’ve been training for this all my life.

I’m a voracious reader, overwhelmingly non-fiction, and mostly articles and essays now. I don’t read many full-length books anymore, and precious little fiction (I read one of the Potter books as a favor to a friend’s child).

So, what I lose in depth, I more than make up for in breadth. In the oceans, most living creatures are found near the surface. And with the Internet, you don’t have to go very deep to find an abundance of useful information right near the surface.

I’m a skimmer, with decades of practice at the art. I’ve learned how writers structure their articles so I can quickly find the arguments they make and the reasoning behind them.

Often, I’ll read the first paragraph or two, then skip to the last paragraph and read toward the front. (A neat trick you can’t do with fiction, or with full-length non-fiction.)

And, yes, I even learn quite a bit about fiction just from reading about it, essays, reviews, and the occasional category in Jeopardy (for which I keep forgetting to enter).

For good reason, I consider myself a jack-of-all-genres, and master of none. I don’t need to be a Master if I can find my way around a topic, and quickly gather more information on it.

When I was a lad in my single digits, I would spend hours at the library roaming the stacks and pulling books off of shelves. Sometimes I would have a dozen or more books in front of me as I sat reading.

Stack of books 3As I grew older and my interests grew more sophisticated, I began abandoning public libraries in favor of larger college libraries. The Dewey Decimal System (indoor games: 793), a language I learned in short pants, was forgotten as I studied the strange new coding of the Library of Congress classification (indoor games: GV1312).

So, my natural tendency, when I look at the wild, wild web, is to bring some order to it. That’s why I’ve started 3 different series on BGA, to curate and present the best the Internet has to offer tabletop gamers.

There already exists two great communities, on Reddit and BoardGameGeek (BGG), but they’re large and untamed. BGG has by far the more active community, but their search engine is not capable of keeping up with the massive amount of information that pours in daily.

Reddit’s /r/boardgame community is smaller and more for casual gamers who don’t consider themselves geeks. In fact, the single most common post on the Reddit group is [WSIG], What Should I Get, where posters tell the group what type of game they’re looking for. It’s a great place to come to pick other gamers’ minds.

But my greatest joy is in following the blogs of fellow gamers. I currently subscribe to over 120 feeds (not counting BGG or Reddit), some posting a couple times a week, and others once a month.

I’ve enjoyed those posts so much that I wanted to draw attention to the best ones through the BGA Blog Awards that will be given out at the end of the year. But I also honor the four best posts (and more) of each week in the Best Board Game Blogs of the Week, the first curated series I started.

It’s not work if you’re having fun. And I hope you get some enjoyment out these articles, too. Please let me know in the comments if you like these curate posts, or if there’s anything you’d like to see on our blog.

Thanks for reading!

 “HK Wan Chai Library Inside Bookcase a” by Skwanem – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Drew is a contributor to the Board Gamers Anonymous podcast. He's a curator by nature, compulsively reading and obsessively organizing what he's read. He's also been a gamer since the age of 3, which means he's been playing board games for... let's just say more than 40 years, and leave it at that...

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