Everybody’s talking about Content Curation – which is cool for us considering it’s basically our name said backwards – but how many people are actually doing it? The answer is not that many, really. Or maybe we should say not that many, yet. Maybe everyone’s put off by how complicated it all sounds…which is where we come in. Complicated Shmomplicated. Welcome to the lazy bugger’s guide to Content Curation!
Pick a topic you’re interested in.
Why curate a collection of content on turnips if you’re just not interested in them? To learn how to do this curation business easily, you may as well be dealing in a subject area you a. Like, and b. Have at least a modicum of
Don’t rip anything off or pass it on as your own. Content creators love it when
people share their content – it’s like you’re reading their book – so don’t think you’ll get in trouble. It’s not stealing,
it’s sharing. And believe us, the original source gets plenty of credit, and will be stoked to be curated (let’s face it, we all want to be validated for our efforts, right?)
You’re validating a piece of content when you curate it, so think about your reputation too. If it’s a tweet too good to be true ie Tony Abbott swaps speedos for boardies- then hey, like anything in life, it’s too good to be true.
Set up a ‘Google Alert’ – if it’s happening anywhere, the Biggest Brother of them all will know about it. Plus, Google
crawls Twitter very well, and being handy on Key words helps here, too. Use Google Reader to identify the top blogs in your area of interest – but don’t go completely nuts – remember you’ve got to actually skim read them pretty much
We all read our FB newsfeeds for actual news, right? Create a ‘favourite fan pages’ list in your ‘edit friends’ list in you Facebook Account settings. You might need to filter your fan pages to relate specifically to the subject you’re
curating. If the subject is big wave surfing, then you probably don’t need to include ‘Mad Men’ or ‘Fried Chicken’ fanpages in the filter. Use the ‘Most Recent’ dropdown menu to click into the content feed you’ve just curated.
We HEART Twitter
Afterall, it’s these guys that took curation from being cool to very cool – especially if you’re trying to piece together a global event in real-time. (But we digress) Twitter lists! Make a list that includes stuff from lists that other people or companies have made around your interests. If tech’s your thing then it might be a good idea to checkout who’s on Mashable’s Twitter list. Fellow curators of the same topic should also have comprehensive Twitter lists to check out.
A spot of ditch digging never hurt anybody
Don’t forget that setting up a fully automated curation feed as the final say pretty much defeats the purpose. It needs a human touch in there somewhere, somehow. You’re responsible for the content you’re filtering and collecting – so you need to own it. That means getting your hands dirty.
Quality Curators often get called Thought Leaders
It’s a preception thing you can’t put on a business card. Try and go for quality over quantity – this is always a hard lesson to learn in the social curation scene – but an important one. We’re all just one tweet away from our hugely informative collection of content becoming just another form of white noise ushering in a migraine. The key is to know when enough is enough for right now.
Seek out awesome curation apps
If you’re smartphone enabled, download the free Pulse app. Never before has the curation of content been so easy or looked so good. All you need to do is curate the curated stuff they do for you! (see Flipboard & Zite here too)
Display: the fun bit!
In a nice final touch we like to file under ‘vanity publishing for beginners’, set up a paper.li account. This cool little platform uses a template that makes it look like a newspaper. Paper.li pulls in content from your nominated blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Linked in etc and spits it out in an old-skool newspaper format – and you’re the editor!
*image by Naotake Murayama @ Flickr