Beth Kanterrecently provided a link to a talk by ‘one of the best content curators on the planet,’ Robin Good . Also, Curation and the Future of Publishing has curated posts/articles on content curation. You can get started right now; then follow Beth and Robin the rest of the year and you’ll be set; seriously, they’re awesome. Follow them.
Content curation is one of the new buzz worthy terms you’re hearing a lot about these days. And it’s for good reason. With so much information at the buffet , we need some help figuring out what to select. To pick an ‘object’ and add ‘beauty’ and meaning to it, we need curation from sources we trust. If we do a good job of culling from different sources – creating ‘objects of beauty’ — people will follow us.
Want some tips?
Curation is not just about collecting links or using the online tools out there –Scoop.it, Pinterest, Diigo, etc.—that will point you towards items that may be of interest based on keywords and algorithms. That’s mostly just aggregation (and that, per Huffington Post can be dangerous!). True curation looks at depth and quality of content and puts things into context in an organized, customized and annotated fashion. Curarein Latin means to take care of or attend to something. Don’t just pick a link and send people to it. Go a step or two further. See what the impact of that material is. See if there are comments. Follow the trail. If you curate content, you’re essentially taking care of your consumers. Think like a detective (or a ghost buster).
Curation is a gift we offer to our constituents. With so much content available to us (e.g., on Facebook the average user – and there are 800 million of them — creates 90 pieces of content each month — a content curator selects what’s important and serves it up in a digestible manner. To do this effectively, we must show our audience that we know them – going right to the heart of building relationships with our constituents.
Collecting is another term that’s germane. Collecting takes judgment, per Stanford Libraries Curator, Henry Lowood . Offering a valuable collection involves finding your own niche. If you curate content in an area where someone else is already doing it, then you’re less valuable to your potential audiences. This is a concept that relates directly back to mission, and being able to answer the question: “What would happen if we ceased to exist.” If nothing would happen (because someone else is already doing what you’re doing), then your case is not very compelling. Your content must be relevant.
Judgment-based filtering is also significant, and an integral part of a content curation strategy. Many of us simply can’t filter on our own; it’s too much work, as per Clay Shirky: all the filters we’re used to are broken and we’d like to blame it on the environment instead of admitting that we’re just, you know, we just don’t understand what’s going on.
Strategic organization is paramount. For great tips on how to gather a hoard of content and store it deliberately for future use, check out My Dirty Little Social Media Secret? Content Hoarding Tools.