I often recommend Content Curation to my clients and contacts only to get the response. “What is Content Curation?”
If you are unfamiliar with the concept, (or If you thought content curation was a happy medium for healing) then this article should set you straight.
What is Content Curation?
Curation is a word that my spell check does not recognize but appears more and more frequently on the web. It refers to the process of managing, administering or organizing a collection of, for example, books, archives, artworks or animals in a zoo.
Content Curation is the collection, categorization and publishing of online information from different sources.
Mashable gives it a very broad definition in its recent article as indicated by its title: If You Use the Web, You Are a ‘Curator’
Research by Curata has found that curating is becoming the norm. However, these statistics are also talking about curation in a broader sense and include sharing content on social networking sites.
I would compare curation via Facebook akin to a museum gathering a collection of artifacts and then losing them in storage, never to be found again. I do not consider this to be content curation. The new Facebook hashtag feature will go some way to improving this.
Image by: Curata
Two Main Types of Content Curation
1. Done for You Content Curation – where you cannot add content yourself
- Sites such as Alltop which publishes the headlines and snippets from quality content around the web and Techmeme which publish news from tech sites.
- Directory sites that contain links to specific types of content, products or services. Examples;
- Behance curated galleries of top creative work
- Deadspin – news and commentary on sports content from around the web with a humorous spin to it.
- Directories of people such as the categorized lists of Tweeters on JustTweetIt
- Niche sites such a 22 Words which publishes funny, weird, absurd and creative articles, videos, images and cartoons from around the web.
- Bizarre but useful sites such as Charmin.com which gives locations of public restroom in USA so that “the next time you’ve got to go on the go, you’ll know where to go.” (A great marketing tool for the product they are selling too.)
Source 22 Words: How to dress up your hamster using cardboard 4 Pictures
2 User Generated Content Curation – where YOU contribute the content.
If you use the wider definition this would include Facebook, submission sites such as reddit or Stumbleupon,, a blogpost that includes links to other blog posts, or a blog that uses categories and tags.
These all have their uses of course but it is the dedicated curation sites, where you have control over adding, classifying and sharing content, that I am concentrating on in this series.
In a way such content curation is really just a fancy name for what we used to call bookmarking and tagging.
One of my very first blogs was on this topic, when sites such as Delicious were starting out (its url was del.icio.us back then). That might sound like a boring subject, but tools like this heralded new and exciting online technology and the start of the interactive web, which we now accept as normal. Going back even further to my student days, a part time job, with a marketing company in London, involved me researching by curating content from newspapers using scissors and glue. Now, that was boring!
I still post links to Delicious, although now using a completely automated method: IFTT. I add to other content curation sites too. The features and variety of curation sites have changed over time. What has not changed is their usefulness and their popularity is on the increase once more.
Some sites that I will be talking about are List.ly, Scoop the Web, Bag it and a current favorite of mine Flipboard. Pinterest is a content curation site too, but that deserves a series of posts all to itself.
Tomorrow I will talk about the advantages of Content Curation and follow that with a review of some of the Content Curation sites that I add content to. When you actually see some of these in action, their use will become clearer to you. You can also see a couple of examples of widgets from Bag The Web on this page.
Adding content to Curation sites is usually done using bookmarklets (buttons you add to your browser toolbar) or by sharing the content of other site members. It is quick and easy and can be done as part of your normal web browsing and your after publishing your blog post routine.
If you are already a content curator please let us know what advantages it brings for you. If you have some favorite content curation sites please share them here.
You may also like to read my next two posts in my Content Curation series: