“Curating” is the new buzzword around town, and like most new buzzwords their meaning can be easily misconstrued.
The other day I came across the “Second annual Content Curation Adoption Survey” informing me that “95% of Marketers are Curating”.
While I have no doubt a lot are through Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks, the penny dropped when I read that “of those respondents that indicated they had not knowingly curated in the past six months, 100 percent of them had, by sharing an article, blog post or other content with a prospect or customer”.
Breaking news: sharing an article with your facebook fans or twitter followers is not content curation.
Content curation involves gathering digital content from a range of sources and then sorting, art directing and representing that content in a way that creates an editorial experience. It’s not about creating, it’s about sifting through the raft of content available on a particular topic and presenting the best and most relevant pieces of information to your audience. It’s something you do regularly and consistently. There is nothing random or one-off about it.
So what makes for good curation? Google it and you’ll find a myriad of lists and opinions. My five favourite are:
Have a reason for being: knowing what your point is will make it easier to filter content, and to build an audience. It’s a bit like making a mix tape – knowing who it’s for and what you want to say makes picking the songs easy.
You can’t survive on curation alone: You will gain more credibility with your audience, and more support from other curators if you are also creating your own fresh and interesting content.
Give it the personal touch: automated curation tools are popping up all over the place but curation does require the personal touch to ensure quality content is being shared.
Quality not quantity: if time and resource is an issue then sharing quality content once a week will build more credibility than sharing rubbish content daily.
Become part of the ecosystem: always remember the content you are sharing is not yours! Always, credit your sources.
Content curation is a long term platform that needs a strategy behind it. If your objective is to become an authority on something, then you can only do this by building up a following of people who trust that authority.