Content Curation, what is it?
Content curation can be defined as “a proactive and selective approach to sourcing, collecting and publishing digital content relating to a specific (predefined) topic”
Content Curation comes in many forms. You may find it in blogs, feeds, channels (YouTube), dedicated content curation sites (more on that in a second –Scoop.it) and even in the social media links you share.
Why is Content Curation useful? Is it really that important?
As I’m sure you have discovered. The World Wide Web truly is Worldly BIG! More people are starting to rely on a select group of trusted sources to get their information: these include family, friends, brands, experts etc.
If you are not convinced of the growing importance placed on content curation, you only have to look at the example Rebecca Leib (VP of NA Econsultancy - @lieblink) used to support the importance of it. bOINGbOING.net is one of the web’s most popular blogs whose traffic often exceeds that of NYTimes.com. As Rebecca pointed out, this blog is nothing more than a collection of curated content; sourced from its contributors which is then often shared with others. I suppose you could call this a form of ‘crowd-sourced content curation’ (but that seems a bit to wordy and dangerously close to sounding like a made-up fad).
Within the field of content marketing, curation is becoming a popular topic of discussion. Brands are waking up to the value of becoming “brands as publishers”. Consumers want additional information, resources and others to connect with on the specific topics that interest them. Creating unique, valuable and informative content is extremely time-consuming. This is where content curation comes into its own. With a sprinkle of unique content mixed in with shared information from other sources, brands can provide a steady stream of high quality and relevant content.
Channels of content can be as specific as bee keeping equipment, or as amorphous as “what’s cool.” But they all serve multiple purposes, ranging from informing to engaging to entertaining. In an era where marketing is supplanting advertising and storytelling is an ever-more essential part of the marketing message, carefully curated content – well presented – is an immense brand asset, be it to a humble, over-caffeinated individual blogger or a Fortune 100 company.
OK, so Content Curation might be the way forward to filter the noise. Are there any tools out there that can help?
There are many sites out there dedicated to allowing individuals/brands creating content curated topics. Some may choose Tumblr. It has it benefits, with tagging, a dashboard and a live feed to crawl through for articles to re-blog. The Huffington Post is another famous source for content curation. I myself have been using a little known (but growing in popularity) site called “Scoop.it”. And I must admit, I am loving it. See the scrolling 5 boxes on the right hand nav bar? Yup, that’s Scoop.it!
It allows you to not only create a topic to focus your curation around but you can also follow other users topics and ‘re-scoop’ anything relevant. It also has built in sharing and commenting functions making it a breeze to pass your content throughout you major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr).
It doesn’t stop there. They have also created a handy little bookmarklet that allows you to grab any web page you stumble on with relevant content and publish it to your Scoop.it topic (and share it at the same time).
The guys at Scoop.it recently opened up the service to the public and its user base is growing fast. If you want to dabble in creating a curated topic that helps inform and share information then this is as good as any place to start.
Cheers, Mini Matmian.