The concept of content curation has been popping up more frequently in conversations I’m having with business partners and clients. There’s a wide range of reasons for this but the most frequent discussion trigger is content creation. Just ask any blogger churning content out frequently what their key concerns are and somewhere in the top 5 lurks “consistently creating fresh and relevant content”.
Let’s first define what content curation is and I’ll lean on Rohit Bhargava’s excellent definition from his ancient (2009!) post “Manifesto for the Content Curator” (http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/weblog/2009/09/manifesto-for-the-content-curator-the-next-big-social-media-job-of-the-future-.html) : “Content curation is the term that defines the act of finding, grouping, organizing and sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue.” One of Rohit’s key points is that the essence of content curation is not to indiscriminately add to the avalanche of content available about a particular subject but to selectively and skillfully distill it down to the most important aspects of the subject. (I strongly recommend another of his recent posts “The Five Models of Content Curation” (link: http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2011/03/the-5-models-of-content-curation.html) which offers a launching point for the discussion of what content curation really is.)
I am an avid content consumer of another leader in the content creation space, Joe Pulizzi of Junta 42. (www.junta42.com) – in both blog and book formats. In doing the background research for this post I came across some interesting statistics that Joe had obtained from a survey HiveFire (http://www.getcurata.com/) conducted regarding marketing executives’ views on the emerging importance of content curation – 69% said it was more important today than one year ago. (http://blog.junta42.com/2011/03/content-curation-grows-up-original-content-still-key/) The prevailing view here is that content curation, effectively integrated with content creation, are the foundational pieces of a sound content marketing strategy.
So, back to the premise of this post – what can content curation do for you? For many, the simple act of doing research on a particular topic and selecting sharable content that is most relevant and informative gets the creative juices going. As you continue to dig deeper into the subject matter you develop a richer understanding of the nuances of the subject matter and you begin to see ways to map out the course you will take with future curation efforts. As a real life example, I will continue my exploration of this subject in search of case studies where content curation has had positive impact for its practitioners and focus on the new wave of content curation tools that simplify the process.