Up until very recently I thought that content curation only meant one thing and then I learned that there was a second type. What is funny is that I have been aware of the other type, but didn’t know it by that name. You have been using it, too. And so have you, and you, and you.
Let’s start with the content curation concept that I know and use. Let's say that you are looking for blog post ideas. You pick one and then begin the content curation process. Content curation as I knew it meant to build an article around the writer’s own unique view point while using quotes from other writers to back up the original concept. In a way it is like a journalist writing an article and quoting people from interviews. The picture below shows an example of what I have done in the past.
Let’s look at a few other definitions of content curation to make sure we are all on the same page. We’ll start with Beth Kanter in her article Content Curation Primer:
Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. The work involves sifting, sorting, arranging, and publishing information. A content curator cherry picks the best content that is important and relevant to share with their community.
Notice how I used italics and indention to set Beth’s words apart from mine. Also notice that I gave her full credit for her work. This is another use of the word “attribution” other than the one in the example above. Stacy Miller in her June 2013 article Five Rules for Better Content Curation says:
Always provide links back to your sources, and credit the creator of any material you share. Attribution builds relationships with content producers and establishes credibility for your brand.
Something old, something new
Content curation is often compared to what a museum curator does. He selects the pictures from a larger sample. He then decides how to group them and often wants to group them around a painter, a paint style or a subject. The museum curator doesn’t paint the pictures, but he is very artistic in his choices. Content curation as we have seen above is similar in that the curator selects articles from all that are on the internet. He then uses relevant quotes to make his point.
But there is a different type of content curation where the writer is much more of a curator. There are blog articles that are just snippets of an article, its thumb nail and links. And I am not just talking about a few of these at the bottom of the article. I am talking about a decent sized blog article page full of snippets, perhaps even build around one of your blog post ideas.
Do you remember the Reader’s Digest at your grandparents’ home? Did you know that it has become a prime example of a curated blog site? How’s this for an eye opener:
This looks like a museum wall done by a curator doesn’t it? How many of these have you seen? Recipes? Retail sales sites? Huffington Post—wait that’s a newspaper.
And yes, now we are where I have been headed. Content curation has also become what your daily newspaper used to be. It has to have an editor or editors finding the articles to share. It has to have someone laying out the page after the editor decides what stories have the most to offer the readers (to keep them on the page). It is pure content creation.
That's a wrap
I think we have just seen that content curation is really journalism in disguise. It might take the form of an article with quotes from other authorties or it might take the form of an entire newspaper. I hope you found this article enlightening. Up until a short time ago, I went on news and sales sites and didn’t realize I was seeing curated content. Did you know they were examples of content curation?
Jaco Grobbelaar is the owner of BroadVision Marketing. BroadVision Marketing works with business owners to put in place inbound and outbound marketing strategies that consistently secure new clients. The BroadVision Marketing Training Center is located in Petaluma, CA and primarily serves companies in the San Francisco Bay area.
Jaco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707.766.9778 or connect with Jaco on Facebook - www.facebook.com/broadvisionmarketing - and LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/JacoGrobbelaar. He can also be found at Jaco+.