Curating Content in a Diverse Media Landscape

December 06 2012

Many tools exist for how to listen and build your community. But there’s not exactly a how-to manual for curating great content.

In the digital world, curation is a practice of thoughtfully selecting inspiration. Which isn’t always easy in today’s diverse media landscape. Because there’s a lot of digital junk. Tee’d up by tools that help us share this junk more easily.

This makes people think it’s ok to mindlessly share junk to pad their Twitter feeds. It’s not.

Here’s why:

Mindful editing and collaborative news filtering need to work together.

Triberr is a powerful yet dangerous tool for digital curation. It’s a great way to build an audience. But it’s also a great way to kill blogging.

The tools need to be used right. Or else bloggers will be on the endangered species list before we know it. 

If you’re on Triberr, or thinking about using the tool, don’t be casual about 1) the tribes you join and 2) what you share.

Curated content is only as good as the content behind the link.

Be more selective. Because random and weird doesn’t always work.

Unless you’re a science fiction writer with a science fiction audience. Or “random and weird” is your niche.

But if your restaurant business frequently blogs about food. And then you share stories about dogs? It won’t leave a good taste in the mouths of your customers. Even if it’s a hilarious dog video. Use your personal Facebook or Twitter feed if you want to share that with others. Your business account is for…business! Duh.

(Note: “random and weird” can become part of a businesses schtick if done right and consistently. Which isn’t an easy feat. Because it must fit in with the overall branding and positioning of the company).

Remember that science fiction writer? He’s in one of my tribes.

But science fiction isn’t my schtick. And then there’s the headline of the post. Oh, that. I won’t be approving this post anytime soon. Or ever.

(Bad headlines are one of the many reasons why content doesn’t get curated).

Don’t contribute to the noise. Rise above by learning the rules:

    1) Write good headlines

    2) Create valuable content

    3) Curate wisely

How do you decide what to share in today’s diverse landscape? Please comment below. 

(oh and if the creative digital media world is your schtick, please consider joining my tribe).



10 responses to “Curating Content in a Diverse Media Landscape”

  1. Jessica Anne,

    Good message here. I am trying to be more thoughtful when it comes to retweeting posts via Triberr. I’d say we all blindly retweet (some more than others). I still do this, but have become more focused, and part of that is simply learning about yet another platform/tool such as Triberr.

    By the way … the science fiction writer’s title certainly gets your attention 😉

    • jessica says:

      Hi Craig, yes his headline is certainly attention grabbing. But that’s my point. It’s link bait and we have no idea what this post is about – and if it’s valuable to our community – without clicking the link.

      Is it considered trust if we share the post w/o clicking through? Or mindless sharing? Or a little bit of both?

      To lessen the noise, we need to think about how our sharing decisions affect our community. anyway, thanks for your comment Craig!

    • Paul says:

      Well articulated! 🙂 A couple years ago, I didn’t know what I was actually doing with twitter, was content curating. I had a rhythm with the process of sharing via twitter and actually started to build a large active following. It was fun. Even some active expert speakers and other tech expert types were engaging me.

      I stopped curating content because I was flagged by twitter and they immediately started removing several hundred followers per day from my account with little explanation, other than, they noted unusual activities with my account. No spamming activities, just moving too fast, building a large active following in a short period of time, I’ll never know.

      Unfortunately, I let that discourage me, and I stopped. I’m back!! 🙂 Ready to dive into the fun challenging world of curating content through the massive pages of information. Thanks for sharing this article. 🙂

  2. I try simplify. If I find an article that I genuinely find interesting, I’ll share it. I’ll blog about it.

    I figure if I found it interesting, others will too!

  3. Jessica, this post could totally have been written about my. My hubz & I were discussing over the past week how “out of control” our tribal feeds have gotten, & we’ve been brainstorming ways to be better curators so that our Twitter streams are more useful to others. I wonder if this is a realization many people are reaching — a collective “OOPS” as we all realize that this awesome tool has gone extreme & that we need to stop looking at it as a fun game. We instead need to, as you suggest, be more responsible and outright PICKY about what we share. I know I am completely guilty (sadly, on a massive level) of the blind share function. It’s lazy and hazardous to my goals. Thanks for writing this piece as it validates the conclusion my hubz & I reached in that we must roll up our sleeves and more diligently invest ourselves. We’re worth it, our followers are worth it, our blog is worth it, & Triberr is worth it.

    • jessica says:

      By sharing a link, I’m advocating that I’ve read the content and stand by what it has to say. It’s about quality not quantity – even on Twitter. People like to argue that more noise/posts/tweets/links = “more impact.” But I’d prefer to deliver quality content, even if it means I’m not as “noisy” as the others.
      thanks for your comment, Andi-Roo!

  4. Seamus says:

    These rules are good for individuals, but content curation on the brand level is still a nut that’s yet to be cracked. Most tools have focused on creating workflow but have not been great at providing the person at the controls (e.g. a community manager) with content inspiration. I think content discovery and curation for brands is going to be a rapidly growing space going forward.

    • jessica says:

      couldn’t agree more. some brands have it easier than others depending on industry and platform. Think Bloomingdales vs. real estate on Pinterest. Pictures of clothing are evergreen but house listings need to constantly be taken down/updated.

      Community managers who curate content for brands certainly need to be mindful of what they share, and how they share it. Their decisions impact their brand whether they want to believe it or not.

      anyway, thanks so much for your comment!

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