Content Curation.

con curThe word curator comes from, curare meaning ‘take care’.

Museums and galleries employ curators to select and manage the items to display. A curator is an overseer who takes on the task of managing collections related to a particular material of cultural, social or personal importance.

The specialist known as the content curator takes care of content, online. Content curation requires sifting through large amounts of information; sorting, arranging, annotating and finally showcasing it to the masses or the select audience as the case may be.

The data online is abundant, however, and it would be impossible for anyone to go through all of it in their lifetime. Thankfully, we humans love to compartmentalize (and we don’t suck at technology). We itch to arrange the knowledge that we come across. We love to make connections. It feels rewarding to build up a collage of tidbits which let us comment through a body of collected work. And even more fulfilling as we sit back and enjoy a sparkling insightful discussion ensue.

aSocial web encourages the sharing of content and media online. Many newspapers and magazines (like Scoop.it, Curata.com) have emerged online having adopted the science of content curation. Good content is like a needle in the World Wide Web haystack.

If you are on Pinterest or Twitter, you are already part-curator. You are an opinion leader.

Full blown content curation, on the other hand, is hard work. It is a much lengthier procedure than just sharing an article with a comment-note saying how great it is. There is a good chance of the curator becoming ‘content fried’. There may be time restrictions, too much valuable data or simply a profusion of useless, outdated data.

The content needs to be presented in an organized and meaningful way. This saves the reader time and effort which would have otherwise been spent online searching through huge amounts of data, most of it irrelevant. A content curator site can be a blessing – As SlideShare is to students all over the world.

Curated content promises quality and must deliver it. A lot of research therefore goes into content curation. Curated content is hardly original but the process of curation is unique in execution.

The content curator, using interpretation skills and relevancy, continually seeks, examines and handpicks the content that best reflects a theme or context. Quality is what distinguishes the better content from the rest. It brings in the readers as well as appreciation.

Amanda Di Silvestro, in her article for the Search Engine Journal, lists a number of benefits for the content curator:b

  • Improving relationship with the sites whose content you share
  • Growing authority on a subject (provided the curation is proper)
  • Adding quality content to your site or timeline
  • Creating a good resource for others
  • Saving time from creating content from scratch

Content curation can be done manually but it just takes longer. There are other, more popular, automated methods used for online content curation:-

Collaborative Filtering:

This method uses the evaluations, prior activities, votes and views of a particular social community to automatically identify relevant content. Reddit and Youtube are good examples.

Semantic Analysis:

Principles of factor analysis are used in this method to examine the relationship between various bits of information on the page. LifeHack uses Semantic Analysis to break up content according to category and topic.

Social Rating:

This method employs user-ratings and recommendations in order to select content. It suggests content based on similar interests and activities. For a live example, just visit Facebook.

74% of marketers say curation is an important element of their content strategy, as per a Trapit survey.

Content curation has emerged as a favorite amongst the content marketers as it provides the opportunity to engage with potential customers and augments on the original content, inexpensively.

Here are a few tips to effectively curate content:-

  1. Include infographics, images, podcasts from other sources. Anything which will complement your content is worth adding. It will make it more interesting to go through the content and keep the attention of the readers.
  2. Use a variety of sources and place timely information. Ideally, you should have more than one source if you wish to curate content. More sources imply more knowledge on the subject.
  3. Supplement the curated content with your own views and comments. Explain how what you are sharing is relevant.

A good curator is thinking not just about acquisition and selection,

 but also contextualizing.” – Joanne McNeil

  1. Use tools like Feedly to organize and pull content. The job of curation can be made much easier and swifter by the use of right marketing tools.
  2. Leverage your distribution channels. Curate content for social media, e-newsletters and owned media. The value of what you share will reflect on your offering.
  3. Take permission. Most authors would be happy to have their content being shared on different distribution channels as your own. It is still a good idea to keep them informed to avoid any legal hassles later.
  4. Use the ‘embed content’ option wherever possible during content curation display.

Soundcloud, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others let you share the content on your own media sites with just a click of a button.

  1. Track clicks and measure your content curation.

According to marketer Heidi Cohen, 40 % of content curators don’t measure the effectiveness of their curation. Don’t be one of them. You can use Google URL builder to create customized URLs and Google Analytics to learn the number of clicks per piece of content. This will let you conclude which type of content is well received and plan for future content accordingly.

We hope this article proves of help to those interested in content curation. The one thing to remember is-

Knowledge is power.

And well packaged knowledge is comfort.

Remember this, and become a good content care-taker.

People really are looking for water. But ultimately they don’t want to drink out of a fire-hose

— really they want a glass of water.

 If you can be there providing that glass of water on a consistent basis,

you’ll begin to garner their trust. – Scott Scanlon

Contributed By : Ankita Verma (Class of 2009, IBS Hyderabad).

2 thoughts on “Content Curation.

  1. Hi Ankita,

    The article is very well written and is interesting, and informative!

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