Content curation? Not content creation? Even the word processor we use thinks the word is spelled wrong. However, content curation has been around for quite awhile.
As content developers and a business with a blog, we know it’s hard to keep up with the constant need for fresh articles. After posting umpteenth hundred posts, everybody has at least one experience with the whole “What do I write about NOW” question. Usually, this happens only a day or two before the next one post is due to come out.
– And then there’s content curation.
The Information Overload
We say, “Content is king”. Yet, with a king, there’s only one; with content, there are billions of pieces out there – often about the same topic. This causes information overload:
- Tons of pages to look through
- Tons of words to read
- No time to read it all
- Too much noise
It’s now become a matter of searching for your topic, click, scan, back click to search result, click, scan, back click to search result. Wouldn’t it be better if you could find a single source for your topic? One that filters out all the noise to give you the best of the best in informative, bite sized snacks?
What Is Content Curation
Content curation, much like museum curation, is finding, collecting, categorizing and selectively displaying works of art.
How is content curation different from content aggregation?
Content aggregation isn’t selective. Indeed, it simply broadcasts more noise. Often, it’s an automated process with no thought behind it.
How Can It Help Me?
Although content curation still takes time and dedication, it doesn’t take as much time as content creation. Rather than creating new content, you’re thinning and refining the way topical content is displayed – and you use your site as the content museum.
An excellent example of content curation is SmartBrief. Every month, IAB picks the best articles about interactive media and marketing. “…we do all the research… and you get the news you need, without the fluff.
You may or may not have the time to write lengthy articles, or the creative juices to write many lengthy articles. However, if you can write a paragraph around a good article posted elsewhere, you can become a content curator.
This helps your site, your blog and your authority. Although the links get traffic, you become the place to go for “the best of the best” information (i.e. you get traffic, too).
Examples of Content Curation
Trying to get an idea of exactly what content curation looks like? Don’t worry about it. Here are a few good, live examples:
EarthKnowledge – Earth Knowledge provides very little, if any, of their own content. Instead, they’ve collaborated with content and science providers, and then displayed the content in a wonderful, unique way (the virtual globe is well worth a look).
CMO.com – CMO’s content offerings target Chief Marketing Officers. Yes, they provide some of their own content, but they also pull in updated, curated content from related sites (i.e. all things marketing), such as Business Insider, Clickz, eMarketer and others. It’s an excellent, relevant and time-sensitive museum for marketing aficionados.
Arts & Letters Daily – Arts & Letters creates tasty, bite-sized snacks with a link to the full article. If it’s intellectual, you’ll probably find at least a few tastes of it here.
Scoop.it – A wonderful fun way to share all your latest posts including the pros & cons to leverage all of your content.
If you’re finding it hard to come up with a new blog every day, week, month – whatever your schedule is, you might think about content curation. However, don’t throw a list out just because you can’t think of anything else.
Like anything else in business, you have to make a plan. Decide how you’re going to go about choosing which content to talk about and otherwise share. Even content curation isn’t a “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” solution
What other content curation examples can you think of?
This is why I normally rely a lot of guest posts. I’m always stumped for ideas these days. 🙁
Hello Dean have you considered looking at your Google analytics? See how your traffic is coming in? As a matter of fact we wrote something about this a while back Writing Dynamic Content, Beating Writer’s Block and Analytics Data 🙂 Hope that helps… come back & let me know!
Content curation is great and important. No doubt there. It’s why list posts and link roundups are so popular — it makes valuable content more easily accessible. Unfortunately, it’s also where I find a lot of site owners get themselves into trouble.
There is a fine line between curation, useless content and content spam. The other thing I often urge clients to consider is that the downfall to focusing heavily on curation is that, unlike original content, interest and value absolutely have to be there consistently, or you’ll lose users.
(If you have a bad post, or one that doesn’t interest a majority of your readers, they simply wait for the next post. With curation, it’s easy to wander within a topic and pull from ‘bad sources’. These sources may not necessarily be bad, but they may just be something that your target audience already reads and visits on a consistent basis. Your site, therefore, would just be repetitive. The debate over Alltop that was hot a few years ago is a great example of this.)
While I like targeted curation with a point or a purpose, I’m more of the opinion that you’re better to post when you have something to say and avoid it when you don’t. Training yourself (and myself) to blog rather than leave comments or use social media, however, isn’t so easy 🙂
“…Training yourself (and myself) to blog rather than leave comments or use social media, however, isn’t so easy :)…” LOL what do you mean? I hear you though Angie, it’s not something someone can jump into without prior knowledge of editing. Personally I think the best curators I have seen online have been editors that have the desire to disseminate great content rather than promote crap. I have been playing with a few curation tools and have been really pleased with Pearltree.com. The other nice one I really like and have been tweaking are the Paper.li you can create various news/articles/video given specific hash tags, keywords, lists, etc. At the end of the day it’s a tight rope for sure, but with all this great content out there surely we can be smart and share it accordingly.
lol What I mean is that I’d be a whole lot smarter to post my thoughts on my own blog and link back, rather than complaining on SM sites or making big comments that get stuck in moderation 😉 (I try to keep them short! I really do!)
See, your choice in curation tools is interesting. I personally find Paper.li really darn annoying for a few reasons:
– the content is on someone else’s site instead of your own.
– they’re horribly repetitive and often contain the same information I sifted through the day before
– the news is usually dated, so if I haven’t read that particular post, I’ve likely read one of the other 20 million out there like it (As with news items, for example)
– I find the format bulky, awkward, and hard to use.
– when I asked why people use it, the response was: because there might be something I’ll want to read in it later. Doesn’t seem all that helpful to me. I’d rather save the interesting bits for when I do have time.
– Many of them, while stating they’re about one topic or another, are often just a hodgepodge collection of whatever someone found the previous day.
Not saying that you have the same, because honestly, I’ve never looked. I simply have yet to find value in them in general, especially when compared to a really thorough and thought provoking list post or link roundup. I’d happily wait weeks to read one of these.
Pearltree I’ve not seen, but I have my suspicions it’s similar to Paper.li. Will have a peak.
I know what you meant lolol that’s why I played the innocent southern bell. Which apparently my “what do you mean” miserably failed at doing that. A lot of people find Paper.li annoying… but, if curated properly you can get a nice mix of content. Granted not all content is yours BUT, isn’t that what building a community is all about? The way I see using curation tools or these channels I’m writing about is to eventually have the largest library on a specific topic. How will that benefit us or a client? Natural, organic traffic. Eventually if your lists are cured properly which I will admit I’m still working on mine, you can really specify your focus and niche. I’m building one with Jahnelle on pearltree.com for Journalism and web2.0 what I’ve noticed is articles and content I’ve been picking up I don’t see on Twitter or Facebook. That’s been refreshing.
Just for that, I should leave daily long comments just so I get the satisfaction of knowing you have to dig in your moderation queue 😉
Have you tried Yahoo Pipes? Usually much easier for curation, I find. That being said, I generally do it for research purposes, rather than actual publication.
Thanks for this great article. I for one have this problem more than often. Staring at blank space, thinking about what to write. 🙂
LOL well I’m glad to see the picture (blank space) we included had meaning to one of our readers 😉
i dont know why you always have to post such amazing posts, to be true, I love the way you show us different techniques, although some of them quite hilarious but some are very efficient.
Thanks for including my Fetching Fridays as an example. Creating a regular series like that does drive in lots of traffic from regulars who use it to keep tabs on their industry to the people you actually link to, as they are notified in their trackbacks. It’s a win-win for everyone!
You’re most welcome, Kristi. As one of the blogs that have made an appearance on your Fetching Friday lists, as well as followers of the lists, well… we just couldn’t ignore the fact that you provide a great resource. 😀