Whether it’s really editing, collecting, linking or (being perfectly blunt) stealing, it seems the whole world is happy to call it curation, so I’d be a fool to swim against the current. All I ask is that when you do it, you hold yourself accountable to one simple rule:
add some goddamn value.
Collecting links is Google’s job. Writing stuff is an author’s job. Aggregating stuff is a newsreader’s job (not the one’s who sit behind a desk reading an autocue wearing a blazer and underpants). Distributing stuff is a publisher’s job. Increasingly, brands are now in all these businesses, doing all these jobs, including bringing meaning to stuff – which is a curator’s job.
This part is going to get tricky, because the stuff they are bringing meaning to (if they are curating) belongs to other people, other brands. Some of the meaning they bring, inevitability, is going to be negative if it is to have any value (is there anything less intriguing than a well-written agree-a-thon?) which is something very few brands have any experience dishing out, most choosing to live by the gentleman’s understanding of doing unto others, and all that.
Something the average brand is even less familiar with? Coping with negative assements form other brands. This curation game could get interesting.
In the spirit of
stealing curating, here’s some technology that will make the act itself a little swifter. And, as a demonstration of another simple rule (attribute always), this sweet little list was compiled by my friend and colleague Charlie Lowe from Social@Ogilvy and orignally appeared in GROW, a digital magazine that explores the next generation of b2b marketing, published monthly by Ogilvy Singapore.
4 tools to help you curate:
Swayy recommends articles, mixed with trending keywords for the topics you find interesting. It also provides an analytics dashboard that shows how people react to your content through your social platforms.
Prismatic provides you with a content stream based on interests that align with your theme. It’s also designed to help you branch out from what you’re already seeing, to discover new material.
Storify allows you to turn what people post on social media into compelling stories.
Pearltrees is a social network based on interests, providing the ability to collect, organize and share content, which can act as a home for your curation efforts.