There’s so much information in the Internet that it has become almost impossible to sift through the most important and relevant content to your niche. This is where content curation comes in.
Content curation is about organizing all the information on a particular topic and organizing, annotating, and presenting them in a particular. It’s about handpicking the best resources there are to a particular topic and presenting them to the reader.
It’s important in every industry, as there’s simply so much information that gets outdated pretty quickly. A content curator is the person responsible for staying at the top of things—he has a large role in shaping the organization’s leadership thrust in an environment where content overload can easily occur.
There are essential principles that a content curator has to know in order to be the best in the field. It can be best encapsulated in three S’s: seek, sense, and share.
The basics of content curation
Content curation is a three-part process: Seek, Sense, and Share. Finding the information or “seeking” is only one third of the task as Mari Smith points out in this video about why curation is important and some tools for doing it. Making sense of the information is just as important. Sense making can be a simple as how you annotate the links your share, the presentation, or what you’ve left out. Sense making can be writing a blog post using the links (like this post) or summarizing the key points in a presentation. However you create meaning, but it has to support your organization’s communications objectives or your professional learning goals. Finally, the sharing – is about giving the best nuggets of content to your audience in a format that they can easily digest and apply it.
Putting content curation into practice is part art form, part science, but mostly about daily practice. You don’t need to do it for hours, but a little bit everyday will help you develop and hone the skills. It is best to do the seeking part in small bursts to avoid feeling overwhelmed. One way to be effective is to find the best curators your topic and follow them. It is like sipping fine wine. You have to be organized and know your sources. And you have to scan your sources regularly and thank them. Read more here.
You can also learn a lot from established experts in content curation. A work flow recommended by top curators is a cycle with the following elements: Goal -> Topics -> Sources -> Sense-making -> Sharing.
Another important aspect of curation is knowing what the best tools to use are. Storyfy, Scoopt.It, BagTheWeb, and Pearltrees are some of the established tools that will help you find the hidden gems for your chosen topic. That being said, happy curation!