Three Tiers of Content Curation: Researching, Collecting, Sharing and Tools for Each

BY: ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2015

Content curation is a fancy term for collecting, organizing and formalizing data. Formalizing here means transforming data into meaningful information. The fine line between data and information is crucial here, as a good content curator makes sure their informational output is always as information packed as possible.
5 people die in a crashdata
5 people die in a plane crash, spurring debate on air security - information

When you find a news story that is already digested but that is not fit for you audience, you have arguably found data. It is the job of a content curator to further develop or transform that story to fit with sharing mediums and various audiences. Whatever the news story, if you choose to share it, you WILL have to frame your material according to who your audience will be. Not to forget about the sharing medium, of course. Most have rules and regulations.

Not Just Research

Content curation is bigger than just doing research. It means filtering and digesting information (from data) before letting it out into the world. Content curation does not end with content management for the web. Various professionals use content curation tools in ways that suit their professional lives. For example, DJs also do content curation. The only difference between them and content marketers is that their content discovery tools differ. DJs use Soundcloud for discovery and post-production software foe editing, while content marketers use text and graphics-oriented software. There is a similarity between the two however. It is that both the DJ and the content marketer go through the same algorithm of finding, structuring and preparing.

The content curation algorithm can be split into three simplest, sequential bits:

  • how to locate relevant data and information
  • how to store what you find
  • how to frame content, upgrade it and release it

Locating, Researching, Collecting

Theme-specific content discovery is very important. It buys you time!

  • Every discovery starts with an idea or a reference. Kbucket receives you with a welcoming cloud of tag words that, once clicked, produce a list of top stories. Navigation based on tag words is extremely convenient. It allows you to arrive at the topic you’re most interested in even if you are consciously unaware of that topic.
  • Timelypick shows only contemporary stories in each category. You don’t have to worry about readying something that’s not actual or interesting to people at single point of time.
  • While pins on pinterest do not cover nearly enough breadth of material, Google News covers everything! Make sure to also set up Google Alerts to receive automated notification when something trending happens in your field.
  • Explore sub-reddits as a way of finding what’s most shareable and liked by all types of different people.
  • SlideShare is excellent for receiving expert advice for free. Countless number of seminar slides and presentations are uploaded to Slideshare daily. Presentations, as a whole, tend to be well researched and well designed. You can search for presentations around your topic and then save them. It takes time to find a bad presentation on Slideshare.
  • Google blog search will get you anywhere. Every single blog on the internet is indexed here.
  • Curata is a prime example of business-grade software that unifies content aggregation, content annotation and content release. Curata is perhaps most known around content curators. It is also the costliest option.

Storing, Organizing, Digesting

Like any collector, if you discover valuable content, you have to somehow save it. If you don’t save it and forget it, it does no good.

Storing and organizing is arguably the chunkiest part of.

  • Google Drive can do wonders. It is a collaborative platform as well as cloud storage. Numerous people can work on the same document, which makes content curation much easier when several people are involved.
  • TrapIt is a collection-based software that prides itself in intuitive saving, not sharing. Everything is in categories and you can also publish directly from there.
  • Pocket is an excellent tool for those who find it hard to save for later. It really takes time to get used to bookmarking and saving, which is exactly what Pocket’s team facilitates doing.
  • Delicious is an intuitive bookmarking cloud site that organizes what you find according to hashtags and keywords. Much like spotlight search on a Mac, Delicious will not let you lose anything.
  • Sometimes less is more. This is why Listly has to be included in this chart. As the name suggests, List.ly simply organizes what you find in lists so you can navigate through your saved searches and material easier. The functionality also allows you to attract views and reads by creating unique list-style content for your managed pages
  • Shareist is a download manager but also a tool for downgrading content to its simplest. It is then used as building blocks to create new blog posts and pages.
  • Storify with their tagline “Let the Web Tell a Story” lets you download bits of content from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Re-writing, Presenting, Visualizing

Categorizing and preparing a news release or a post professionally is difficult. It is also very different. Sometimes you need to make it 100 per cent visual, but other times you need to make it 100 per cent digested text content.

  • GoodBits crafts e-mail newsletters from the content you have saved. Words can be difficult, but design can be a lot more complex. Naturally, e-mail design skills are in high demand, and Goodbits capitalizes on allowing us to pair e-mail marketing and content curation.
  • Paper.li allows people to publish papers themselves. You don’t need a contract with a publishing powerhouse to have your own magazine or a newspaper sent to your friends or family. You can compile your research in one place and draft your own publications with Paper.li online.
  • With content curation, often times a byline or a short write-up is need. Some other times a full-blown blog post is necessary. To not waste your time compiling several sources and documents into one, try using Bid4papers as a fresh substitute to Upwork. You can watch the bidding process as freelancers compete for your lot.
  • Visual.ly is known to be expensive, but what better example can there be of a place to create infographics. Data visualization is getting bigger and bigger. Avoiding the trend and abusing text consent when numbers are better expressed in pictures
  • OmniGraffle is an extremely intuitive app made for you to drag and drop boxes, vector lines. Yes, it is a new piece of software, but developing your own skill in navigating a software program that can be later used with great ease is totally worth it. You will be able to create clean graphics and explain interconnection between elements.
  • For best performance with text use Ulysses. There is no program with a cleaner interface and more simplified typing experience. For final editing, text can be backed up with Word, since Ulysses does not check spelling.
  • Creately is great for creating charts, diagrams and flow charts. Never disappoint anyone again with standard Word pie chart graphics! Content can and must be visual.

As with the DJ being a content curator of sorts, content curation tools can be very different. From Soundcloud to Good Drive. The thing is that content curation cannot be made fit under one standard definition or approach. It all comes down to who the curator is, what content is being research and whom for.



Image via Shutterstock

About the Author

Mike Hanski

Mike Hanski is a writer and content strategist who creates unique and engaging content assets and easy-to-grasp articles for businesses in various industries. He is passionate about freelancing, productivity and online business topics. You can find his writings on his blog and a regular column for Business.com.

Comments
comments powered by Disqus