A lot has been already talked about Content Curation, meant as the capacity of filtering and adding value to the content we receive and are exposed to everyday from all the online sources (Search and Social).
Content Curation is certainly more necessary than ever, a critical task in the business environment, not only in Marketing, Communications or Advertising, but it is especially so in areas such as Product, Innovation, Customer Service or Human Resources.
Its impact goes far beyond the content we may generate. Really it is a state of mind affecting the monitoring, research, investigation and the way we listen to people and are able to discern what affects us what not.
But what could be a definition of Content Curator? A generic definition could be this one:
A content curator is a critical knowledge broker who seeks, collects and shares on a continuous base the most relevant content in her area of expertise.
If you think it, it is not a new “profession”, but something that exists since the invention of literature; simply, now the astonishing exponential growing production of web generated content makes this figure even more important.
Initially, the term is attributed to Rohit Bhargava, who developed a Content Curation Manifesto in which he states:
In the near future, experts predict that content on the web will double every 72 hours. The detached analysis of an algorithm will no longer be enough to find what we are looking for. To satisfy the people’s hunger for great content on any topic imaginable, there will need to be a new category of individual working online. Someone whose job it is not to create more content, but to make sense of all the content that others are creating. To find the best and most relevant content and bring it forward. The people who choose to take on this role will be known as Content Curators. The future of the social web will be driven by these Content Curators, who take it upon themselves to collect and share the best content online for others to consume and take on the role of citizen editors, publishing highly valuable compilations of content created by others. In time, these curators will bring more utility and order to the social web. In doing so, they will help to add a voice and point of view to organizations and companies that can connect them with customers – creating an entirely new dialogue based on valued content rather than just brand created marketing messages.
Rohit Bhargava has gone farer in the definition identifying 5 models of Content Curation:
- Aggregation. The act of curating the most relevant information about a particular topic into a single location;
- Distillation. The act of curating information into a more simplistic format where only the most important or relevant ideas are shared;
- Elevation. Refers to curation with a mission of identifying a larger trend or insight from smaller daily musings posted online;
- Mashups. Unique curated juxtapositions where merging existing content is used to create a new point of view;
- Chronology. A form of curation that brings together historical information organized based on time to show an evolving understanding of a particular topic.
But how is it possible to curate content efficiently?
- Finding the best content. Content Curation works only if the person who publishes the curated content knows extraordinary well his industry target too. This knowledge allows the content marketer to become the most reliable filter of quality content. The more content is discarded, the more relevant the final content is;
- Adding value. It is imperative to provide comments and perspectives that add value to the curated content. Trying to educate the reader and provide context for each element are also key. It is this additional author value what makes the content more interesting and relevant to the consumer and what differentiates this approach from other more basic collection (aka: scraping collections);
- Crediting. It is critical to properly credit, providing clear links to additional sources that underlie the final content. It is worth to remember how those links are useful also for basic SEO reasons (outreach, trustrank aura…).
Nowadays we have a large number of tools that allow us to filter content, but we are human beings and human beings are curious by nature, and curiosity makes us change topics and at the end, or we have an excellent memory, or we don’t know how we have archived our sources on Delicious or we do not optimize our RSS feed reader.
Some of these tools are:
RSS READERS: Google Reader, Netvibes, Feedly…
SOCIAL NEWS: Fark, Reddit, Hacker News…
CONTENT “REPOSITORY” SITES: Posterous, Amplify…
But the ideal is to move toward an optimal management of RSS, eliminating duplicate entries, filtering by content or keywords. And nothing can beat Yahoo! Pipes. Or just see what you can do with it.
Beside Yahoo! Pipes, there are new powerful tools that help optimizing the use of web contents:
- Curata by HiveFire Inc., specifically for business use. Accordingly to their own words Curata Curata helps marketers maximize their content curation efforts with web-based tools to easily find, organize and share online content – helping them build thought leadership and grow their qualified leads;
- Summify, maybe the best social news feed, that collects only the most relevant content share by your social circle;
- Paper.li, somehow similar to Summify, but based on the links you have shared in your Social Networks;
- Trunk.ly. A tool for collecting all the links you share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora and many others sources;
- Cadmus. A real time service that lets you manage your Twitter Stream, FriendFeed and RSS Feeds to display the most relevant since the last time you accessed to them;
- Keepstream. Tool that lets you organize the content you share on Twitter by category and embed it on a site or blog;
- Storify. Similar to Keepstream, but on steroids.
And then so many others that I invite you to explore and play with:
I think this post is a great primer for people looking to filter out all the noise on the web. Lately, Twitter has nearly replaced all of my RSS feeds (Inbound Marketing Related). Good articles are tweeted numerous times and tend to get your attention eventually. However, I’m only following 147 people and can soon see that no longer being an option. Trunk.ly looks promising, but I haven’t really had a chance to dig into it.
Yahoo Pipes is new to me. I’ve heard the name, but was unsure what it exactly was. On the fence whether I will spend the time to learn it, since slide 9 indicates it ‘takes some time to learn.’
Thank you for your comment Anthony.
But let me encourage in using Yahoo! Pipes… yes, at first it can be not so easy to learn, but surely is a power tool that let you really personalize your content filtering.
Thank you for an excellent artcile which does a great job of clarifying what a curator does. If you ever feel trhe need to update this, perhas you could elaborate on those aspects of the curator’s functionb which either ovrlaps with, or contrast with the functions seen to be traditioanly those of a web master.
I find that in my circumsntances i perform by default some fo the functions of both as we are ntoconstrained from having two distinct people to take on those two responsibilities.
excellent article, is the work of a curator thank you very much
You’re missing a couple of major ones here that I can see
I’m co-founder of List.ly, for the record. We focus on social curation that keeps content like this live and current inside your blog. Comments feel so 1.0 by comparison:)
I found this collection of really useful. It’s by Intigi.com
Trunk.ly is no more. They got acquired and lost inside Delicious.
I currently provide a curated content solution for businesses. We use a human editor in the final step to select the content for publishing. Several times as we scan a particularly relevant article supporting our clients objectives, we will read the last couple of lines and find the article in fact promotes a competitive product. I know machine generated content is getting better at selecting relevant articles. It takes, I believe, a human editor and a refined content publishing system to deliver content with high value.
Curation may be dead. Google hates it it appears.
I have a automotive blog, its a hybrid piece of rewrites, curation and collation of information online into one area. Take for instance a company in my chosen industry. I write my own introduction (not even outsource the writing), even provide some history about the company i have sourced elsewhere other than the companies own “sales spiel”, piece together eg. a descriptive about the company, add a google location map and some videos that are eg. relevant to the company as well as add any social comments and any forum comments good and bad online.
I have a catchy headline, I have a table of contents and a side bar to other relevant articles as well as my own image which is a photo edited image
So what do i get for months and months of work?
An adsense ban being told its scraped content and that on appeal its still scraped content and offers no value to the reader.
Google is starting to dictate too many terms on how things can and shouldnt be done and is getting away with it.
Based on this experience, curation is DEAD