To Create or Curate Content? (IV)
11 personality traits especially helpful to content curators:
Content curation is a very complex task, it takes a certain person with certain skills to be able to complete the job properly. Here is a list of characteristics that make for a competent content curator:
Content curation and Curiosity
Curiosity is essential to curating. You should have a thirst for knowledge like the blood-lust of an ancient vampire who’s been released from a thousand-year sleep.
The thirst will drive you to dedicate the time and energy to consume as much as you can.
This requires you to be open-minded (to foster a supportive environment of open dialogue and understanding) as well as sceptical (of all the fake information out there).
A curator should entail expert-like knowledge of a subject. Learning increases resolution: the more you know about something, the more you can truly appreciate its details. Including the slightness in differences of traits, qualities and weaknesses. Content curation is possibly the best way to learn the most about a subject.
You do this by reading up on the topic; interviewing established experts; collecting, researching, and analysing resources, data, trends and statistics.
You should also try to facilitate discussions with fellow fanatics and scholars. When I say fanatics, I mean those who don’t have a formal education in the subject, but are regarded as valuable and trustworthy experts. Always consider and compare differing viewpoints and question established assumptions.
Then you write about it.
Strong ethics in content curation
The personality traits of a content curator
Content curators regard a set of strong values that one strives to adhere to during decision making, thereby filtering out ones own reality.
A curator’s values will define the scope of the ‘net’ they throw to ‘catch’ information.
Whether it’s a small net with big holes (not very useful to catch the good yet tiny bits) or a large net with medium holes (optimal to ensure a wide scope and good quality), this plays a large part in the way as well as what one curates.
Ask yourself why you do what you do, and what you stand for. Challenge yourself, travel, experience as much as you can!
Alternative traditions and cultures will open your eyes to many realities and thoughts that you might not previously have considered. This will lead to you discovering a lot more about yourself and your ethical standpoint.
Transparency – Disclosure
Curators thrive on credibility and trust. Transparency, the conscious decision to not keep secrets or hide personal information for one’s own benefit, is imperative to curation. Share your motives and interests, especially if they may be interpreted as a conflict of interest.
The audience has a right to know the motives of a curator, to know what drives and rewards them, so as to afford a level of trust that is not superficial.
Hardly anyone wants to read content picked out of a personal whim, they require cold hard facts about their interests, or an interesting perspective that they would never have previously considered.
To identify deeply with another person or group is essential to content curation.
Since the aim is to answer the questions posed by the audience, it is important to connect with who the audience is, their language; needs; interests and expectations, to find out what they would like to know.
Personal voice within content curation
The personal voice is a personal view on a specific topic, shared with the public. A content curator is not objective, no. We do not keep a distance from the subject matter nor the collections we create. The job entails bringing in one’s bias, prejudice, perspective and opinion to any and all pieces created.
Content curators are highly involved with the subject and content. Content curators actively question the value of information, rationally analyse to identify key strengths and weaknesses and always offer their own perspective.
It can be said that a curator without a strong voice is nothing.
Pattern recognition in content curation
The ability to easily recognise similar information patterns across a range of completely different contexts or appearances.
It’s an invaluable skill to be able to identify trends or the emergence of novel ideas before others. This entails a devotion of more time to the study of your topic; curate more; pay increased attention to detail, nuances and subtle traits that are easily overlooked.
Organisation and content curation
Is the ability to recognise similar items, logically group and label (categorise) them in an order to ensure easy navigation through the information.
To curate content is to make sense out of chaos. To create the logical, clear organisation of information leads to better understanding of concepts.
Attention to detail
Involves being aware of and sensitive to the care for small, sometimes seemingly insignificant items or details that are part of something.
To do this you must dedicate ample time to the content curation process; ensure a peer-review of the content, generate comments and feedback to it and double review it (yes, I’m serious).
Being thorough, analysing things within a systematic procedure, executing high precision tasks without leaving anything to chance.
Content curation is about being precise and giving quality information, there’s no way to do this without having a system of categorisation.
Check, vet and verify. Always.
Is the ability to wait for extended periods of time without losing focus or sight of the objective.
Patience is a core trait that is needed in order to allow ample time for a curated collection to develop. Research and content curation take time. The value is not found in the speed of which you can operate, but how well you can understand the topic and present the information.
Another way to look at content curation is to imagine it as a distillation process. You start with a vast quantity of subject matter, and systematically sift and refine all the material until you have a pure concentration. A potent, 100% extract.
Your ultimate goal being to dose your audience with undiluted shots of pure, useful information to facilitate their understanding on a particular subject.
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To Create or Curate content?
What is content curation and why use it? (II)
What is content curation?
If you’re asking this question, think about your days at school. If you were given an assignment, you research the topic. Next you would answer the questions of the assignment by finding the best possible information and compiling it.
This is a way to perform content curation on the information you have been given.
Finding and isolating the most relevant information on the topic is vital. The next step would be to organise all the useful information from different sources into an essay that is logical, easy to understand and read.
Content curation is very similar, except no one hands you a piece of paper with questions to answer. Your questions come from your audience.
If you know them well enough, you should be able to determine the audience’s intent: what they want to know. From there you can start providing them with a full-on meal of knowledge, complete with all the tasty bits of information they so desire.
You might have created an article in the past which is still very relevant, use that! Update it and re-post it. This is possible with most online and social media marketing.
You may have read an article from someone who you know to be a reputable source or an expert on the subject. Use their link, just remember to give them the credit they deserve.
If you’re decent at curating, you’ll be able to give the audience the answers to questions they haven’t even asked yet. 😉
Why would I want to curate content?
Content curation has become essential for brands looking to build a relationship with their audience.
It adds that back and forth of human interaction that the world of web so often lacks. It also serves the ultimate and wonderful purpose of assisting your audience and customers find relevant information which will ultimately help them in their lives.
For instance, if you are a dentist, you could post articles on the latest news concerning cavity prevention, or how a change in your diet could keep your teeth from crumbling down to the gums.
As a health care professional, you could debunk medical myths.
The possibilities to do good through curating your content are endless. This type of work does not go unnoticed and is highly appreciated by your audience.
So, let’s sum up why you would want to curate content.
Conserve your time and energy… Psych!
It’s been said that it’s exhausting and time consuming to come up constantly with new content. It’s also hard to get all you want to say down in one article, especially when a topic is extensive (trust me, I know).
Curation is an effective way to keep readers up to date and build a comprehensive picture of your topic for them to understand.
But, that also means even more time, research and dedication. That being said, you can save on the resources it takes to create fresh content.
You’re not only re-posting, you’re adding value, your perspective, filling in gaps and verifying facts from multiple sources so that you can…
Be considered a leader of thought in your discipline. An expert.
If you continuously post about the latest, validated and most relevant topics, it will show your audience that you have a deep engagement in your field and are a trusted source of knowledge.
This should build your business a loyal following from your audience. When curation is done correctly, it can strengthen your email list, help define your brand online and strengthen your organic SEO in time – as a by product.
Repetition is annoying. Annoying. Annoying
It’s silly to re-create a message if you’re going to say the same thing in almost-the-same way. There’s no need to add to the vast abyss of online clutter on the internet.
As a curator, you should always add value! Sure, extract the best bits to illustrate and explain, but don’t stop there. Add your (educated) opinion, commentary, a review or even a little introduction to help facilitate clear understanding.
It can be intensely boring to only write about your business. Don’t get me wrong, it’s imperative to the success of your business, but all too often it can end up sounding like a kitsch, hard-sale pitch.
Note: if it’s boring to write, it will most probably be boring to read. This, in a world full of instant-gratification seeking humanoid monsters, is a death-sentence.
Whether igniting online networking opportunities; a new business venture or partnership; or simply inspiring a local reader, our content should have purpose.
It should light fires under the bottoms of our audience! To read; act; buy; to do MORE (hopefully, for good).
Keep existing loyal readers stimulated and encourage them to spread your virtual word by staying:
- Consistent– Regarding usual posting times and quality content,
- Relevant– to the topics that interest the audience,
- Original– No repeats, I personally beg you!
- Somewhat entertaining– By offering a variety of quality articles from different perspectives on the same subject. (since most people enjoy gifts, remember to give value.)
Those were the “What’s” and “Why’s” on content curation. If you’re interested in reading more, such as the “How’s” and “Who’s”, watch this space, part three will follow.
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To Create or Curate content?
That is the question.
An introduction to content curation
An introduction into types of content
There are 3 main types of online content: Content Aggregation; Content curation; and Content creation.
Although for this post, we’re only going to touch on aggregation (I don’t recommend it, you’ll find out why, so just keep reading).
Constantly creating quality content is a great, if not the best, way to keep your website up to date and simultaneously give your organic SEO score a boost, thus keeping your business in the eyes of your audience.
So, what’s great about content curation?
We all know how time and resource consuming it can be to usher in original content all the time. Also, if your market is very competitive, if everyone is writing about the same topic, we’re bound be bombarded with many articles of a very similar nature.
This, along with the influence of social media, has contributed to the absolute disarray of content (and spam!) on the internet.
To quote Mitchel Kapor: “Getting information off the internet is like having a drink from a fire hydrant.”
This is where content curation comes in.
The focus and definition of content curation is in the logical grouping, organisation and presentation of the most relevant pieces of content regarding one topic, in one place.
The content could have been written by you in the past (so long as it’s still relevant), or you could have found the source elsewhere.
You could rewrite the posts and fill in any gaps in the information with new, sound knowledge.
This applies to content curation, whereas content aggregation is simply taking the information from one site and using it on another (or linking to it) as it is. Aggregation contributes to the many duplicates of content on the web, adds no further value and can negatively affect your SEO score.
Curation is kind of like cooking a meal filled with delicious ingredients. Then, after cooking, you pick out the prime pieces of the dish, only the juiciest morsels. Yet, instead of gobbling it up like a little piggy, you share them with your loyal audience.
Sweet, right? You’ve gone through the whole pot just to ensure your readers only enjoy the best. If that doesn’t show you care, then nothing will.
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