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Why You Should Curate Content (And How to Do It Right)

In tomorrow's Lede podcast, +Jerod Morris and +Demian Farnworth are going to kick off a four-part series on curation. 

Why curation?

Because it’s a concept that is easy to understand, but NOT easy to execute. It requires commitment, strategic thinking, and that most precious of resources -- time.

But when you do it right, and do it right consistently, content curation can be a foundational building block of your authority. 

You'll see what we mean tomorrow. Stay tuned. 

And by the way, we would love your feedback for the future posts in this series, specifically answers to questions like: 

  - What tools do you use for curation?
  - What does your process look like?
  - What do you struggle with?

Drop your comments here. We look forward to hearing from you. 

And if you haven't already, get Copyblogger delivered directly to your inbox so you don't miss a post:
Jessica Mehring (Horizon Peak)'s profile photoGreg Strandberg's profile photoJacqueline Myers's profile photoDanail Donchev's profile photo
I find Google+ communities to be essential in finding relevant posts to share each week. That's social media acting as your first curation filter. You still have to wade through a lot of stuff however.  

I'd say for a 20 link curation post I read about 100 to 200 headlines and click on about 50 to 60 articles before finding the ones worth keeping.
+Kingsly Tan, it will be completely dependent upon the articles and the topic. BUT ... I think you become more valuable to your audience when you synthesize multiple pieces of content in one new idea. 

So ... rather than simply summarizing and expounding on a single article, throwing several into a thought mix and dishing out a net new idea is the ultimate. You won't always achieve this, but it's something worthwhile to shoot for.

+Greg Strandberg Good point on communities.
+Greg Strandberg Great point about communities as filters. That's how I treat my Twitter feeds, as well what I mean when I say I curate the curators. Let them find the good stuff. :D
I would have liked to hear more about curation and less about headlines.
Agreed, Greg. Don't know what happened...did the link get mixed up? I was surprised to hear them start talking about headlines right after the intro text emphasizing content curation.
Yeah, blame the editor. (Me.) Link got mixed up. We've fixed it now. My sincere apologies for the error.
Good points here.  What do you share is a good one, how do your curate the curators?

In my posts I do 5 categories: self-publishing, content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and other.  Those categories ensure my search is lower.

I go by article length.  If there's an article with an opening a closing and 3 bullet points, it probably won't make it on my curation post.  I go for longer on that, I'm biased and I'll admit it.

Trust is another key component you touch on, and being careful on what you share.  I'm even a little hesitant to include a guest post I did, but I usually do :)
I've been a "lazy" content curator using Hootsuite and I just set up RSS feeds from my favorite brands to post automatically and then whatever's going on with my is what goes out. 

Going to listen to this audio now. 
+Greg Strandberg Trust is huge. This is why I got out of the habit of simply skimming as passing the test of what I share. Burned once when I missed a critical detail in something I shared and looked very stupid. Now it's always a close reading. This means I share less ... but it's worth it. 
I agree with you +Demian Farnworth. Although I will say, sometimes I share things you share without reading them fully. But ONLY because I trust that you read everything closely. So don't let me down.
Great start to the series +Jerod Morris and +Demian Farnworth. I'm looking forward to hearing more about how one "curates the curators", and also what to do if you just don't find anything good to share on a particular day. (Or does that just mean I need to really expand my reading sources?)
+Priya Chandra I definitely think you shouldn't "share just to share," if nothing you find that day qualifies. It would either share something excess from a previous day that you never got to, share something again that was especially good, or dip into your archive and share once of your own best pieces.
+Jerod Morris +Demian Farnworth, nice start to the curation series guys. I know you're primarily approaching it from a content curation perspective, but I'd love to see you address curation beyond "content." For example, how can we curate the recipes, conversations, movies, and other experiences we have to serve our community online?

I have a few more general comments for ya to get your brain juices flowing. Look out, because I get pumped up about curating. :)

1) Excel spreadsheets are the best tool, hands down, that I've ever used for curating. When it comes to archiving and organizing - two pillars in my FAOCAS curating process - there's nothing better. People will say Evernote,, Pinterest, or, heaven forbid, Facebook are the best tools. But I have a whole book (literally) to back up why I think Excel spreadsheets are the best curation tool around.

2) My process looks like this: Filter, Archive, Organize, Context, Access, and Share. It's what I called FAOCAS (pronounced: "focus).

3) Something I struggle with is attribution. How far am I willing to go to chase down an original source, especially if it's in dispute, when I cite my "hat tips?" That's a toughy.

4) Curating the curators is relatively easy these days. Just spend some time on or, better yet, follow who I call "The Curator's Curator," +Robin Good, wherever he hangs out online. The guy's a curation machine and I really hope you discuss him in an upcoming podcast episode.

Episode one was a great start, fellas. I'm excited for the rest.
+Jerod Morris +Demian Farnworth thanks for another great podcast.

The value proposition in content curation at least from a blogging point of view lies in - 

1. being a site that visitors want to bookmark, subscribe or re-visit because the content helps them get a bird’s-eye view and or a deeper understanding of an overall niche/topic which saves them time over finding all the good stuff themselves or elsewhere.

2. The content is not just an aggregation but insightful or an opinion piece. that adds to the discussion and the outside sources they curate into their posts. In other words the readers have to get connected to the person behind the post/blog for “imprinting” to take place which causes them to really want to follow and talk about your site. 

A crucial step for this to happen is an editorial policy to which the author/s and editor/s of the blog must stick to. 

You mention 3 types of curation. +Rohit Bhargava talks about 5 models of curation as I have listed below. Do you see these as part of the process of curation too? 

Aggregation is the act of curating the most relevant information about a particular topic into a single location.

Distillation is the act of curating information into a more simplistic format where only the most important or relevant ideas are shared.

Elevation refers to curation with a mission of identifying a larger trend or insight from smaller daily musings posted online.

Mashups are unique curated justapositions where merging existing content is used to create a new point of view.

Chronology is a form of curation that brings together historical information organized based on time to show an evolving understanding of a particular topic
+Joel Zaslofsky You are the first person I've heard bring up Excel as a curation tool. Very interesting. Where can I learn more about FAOCAS? It sounds very useful, but the devil would be in the details for me, as I don't particularly like being in Excel. (Which is not a knock on Excel, or the method ... but does highlight the point that everything needs to find the unique process that works for THEM). Also, I followed +Robin Good based on your recommendation. Looking forward to it.

+Vinay Koshy I agree with you. There are multiple levels of curation. Simple link curation all the way to complex synergy of disparate topics that can, in some cases, create entirely new ideas built on the old ones. And the five different models all make sense. We're looking at it from a slightly different viewpoint, but one that would complement that model -- as it defines what you can do with the information you curate, and we're talking even more basically about how and what to curate in the first place (and how to organize it and access it).
+Jerod Morris I just sent an email to your Assembly Call address. Hopefully you accept resources from Badgers, 'cause me and Bucky are pals. :)
+Demian Farnworth +Jerod Morris  you  guys are all kinds of inspiring. Loved the series on curation and these new episodes are thought-provoking and value-filled, too. I appreciate the ideas and time and care you're taking with this podcast.
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