Contemplating a Content Curation Concept

Paul Chaney
Paul Chaney Internet marketing consultant, freelance writer and author, United States

Posted on September 6th 2012

Contemplating a Content Curation Concept
 

Content flood

Problem: Continuous Content Flood

“Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until  2003.” – Eric Schmidt, Former CEO, Google

Does that come as a surprise? If, like me, you’re an “infomaniac,” I suspect not. We are under a constant barrage of information coming from all quarters; most of it from social networks. For example:

Factor in the amount of content being routed through LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and other networks (and let’s not forget email), and if you’re attempting to keep up with even a smidgen of that, you’ve still got a real mess on your hands.

People employ a number of tactics to make this barrage of information more manageable. We use everything from RSS feed readers, Twitter lists and hashtags, social bookmarking applications, Google+ Circles and LinkedIn Today category segmentation to more sophisticated approaches such as the use of social listening tools like Radian6, SM2, Trackur and Bottlenose.

Not only that, new technologies from companies like CurationSoft, MassRelevance and Curata have been developed specifically to help brands and marketers navigate through the content jungle. Add to that the use of curation platforms such as Paper.li and Rebelmouse and even the choice of which technology to use becomes onerous.

And that’s just part of the problem!

The other is that we marketers are predisposed to talking, but not listening. Just think about the vast wasteland of unresponded to tweets, Facebook status updates and blog posts. It’s not that many of these lack quality or are underserving of a response, it’s just that there are too many of them! We simply don’t have time to pay attention.

One Solution: Content “Deal of the Day”

I’ve been contemplating an idea that may or may not have value, but thought it worth bringing to your attention. (Keep in mind that I’ve not fully processed this idea. It may be filled with holes. You tell me.)

What if we borrowed the “deal of the day” concept used by Groupon, LivingSocial and others and applied it to content? By that I mean that we create a site where, each day, registered members rate or vote on a small selection of articles and blog posts. The piece that receives the highest rating becomes the content deal of the day, so to speak. Content could be divided into major categories covering topics such as business, entertainment, politics and the like. Members could choose one or more categories in which to participate.

I see a number of benefits to this approach.

  1. For one brief shining moment, rather than being relegated to the content waste dump, the article (and its author) receives the attention it deserves.
  2. Members are able to focus on a single piece of content, which they can read, comment on and share via social networks.
  3. Like rising cream, it ensures that higher quality content makes it to the top. (One would hope anyway)

Here are the parts I’m still working on:

  • How does content to be voted on get selected? Do members submit content? Does that become the purview of a select group of editors? Could it be done using an algorithm?
  • What criteria, if any, is established to determine which content makes the cut?

Regardless of the manner in which content is selected – either human or machine – I believe there is validity to this concept. On the other hand, this post may just prove that I have less than a basic understanding of the state of content curation in its current iteration.

All I know is that every day I am presented with scores and scores of new articles, blog posts, tweets, status updates, pins and emails. I can’t keep up – and Lord only knows I try. I want someone to make the decision for me, or at least reduce the number of options. And I am not the only one who feels this way.

So, what do you think? In your opinion, does this approach have validity or am I completely off base? Your feedback – positive or negative – would be appreciated.

Paul Chaney

Paul Chaney

Internet marketing consultant, freelance writer and author, United States

Paul Chaney is an Internet marketing consultant focused on content marketing, social media and social commerce. He is also a freelance writer, popular speaker and author of four books on the topics of business blogging and social media marketing:

Realty Blogging: Build Your Brand and Outsmart Your Competition, published by McGraw-Hill in 2006.

The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media, published by Wiley in 2009.

The F-Commerce Handbook: 10 Secrets to Unlocking the Sales Potential of Facebook, published by McGraw-Hill in 2012.

The Social Commerce Handbook: 20 Secrets to Turning Social Media Into Social Sales, also published by McGraw-Hill in October 2012.

Paul provides Internet marketing and social media consulting and training services to small and medium businesses, advertising agencies and non-profit organizations. His expertise lies in effectively combining the conversational marketing aspects of social media with conversion mechanisms that are fully aligned with business objectives.

Paul sits on the board of advisors for the Women’s Wisdom Network, the Social Media Marketing Institute andSmartBrief on Social Media. He is a feature writer forPractical Ecommerce on the topic of social commerce and is Associate Editor of Social Commerce Today, a leading blog covering the topic of social commerce.

Paul is a sought after speaker on the topic of social media marketing. Since 2005, he has led numerous business blogging and social media workshops, including the first ever such seminar to be held in Asia. He was also invited by the U. S. Department of Commerce to lead a series of social media workshops to business people in the Ukraine.

Paul is a Technical Editor for Pearson and Wiley publishing and has worked on many of the For Dummies series books related to blogging, SEO and Internet marketing that have been written to date.

He was technical editor and contributing writer on Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies, the very first book to address blogging from a purely business perspective.

See Full Profile >

Comments

Ummm...isn't this called Twitter?

Q. "Content could be divided into major categories covering topics such as business, entertainment, politics and the like. Members could choose one or more categories in which to participate."

A. Hashtags

Q. "...a site where, each day, registered members rate or vote on a small selection of articles and blog posts."

A. Retweet and Favorite

While I don't disagree, the concept I'm pitching is more hybrid in nature. To me, even with bifurcated lists, hashtags and the like, Twitter is still a flood of information around which no useful mechanism is in place to facailitate conversation.

Actually, now that I think about it Social Media Today is more well-suited to this concept. It's curated by a team of editors, and posts are ranked so that some receive more attention than others. 

Regardless, I'm open to all feedback, including those that may shoot my concept in the foot. As I said, it may reveal my ignorance more than anything else. :-)

Isn't this what Digg does already?

I need to revisit the "new" Digg. You're probably right. I guess where I'm going is: one topic for one day. Think Woot.com for content. 

Yeah I'd agree with Michael that I think Digg is the closest thing to what you're describing.


There's definitely going to be a quality control issue when there is SO much content being produced from SO many different parties. Now that Google has made it a requirement for search to have valuable, relevant content, content creation is blowing up even more so.


I describe a little bit of my theory about this in my article about Springpad as a content curation tool (http://www.business2community.com/social-media/springpad-the-most-powerful-content-curation-tool-youre-not-using-0321129) but I think the future of search will lean more towards curated collections of information coming up in search results, gathered carefully by topic experts. It will then be those topic experts that will guide us to the most valuable content, rather than having to wade through erroneous search results.


Springpad is the tool that I think is most setup to make that happen, and is a bit ahead of it's time.

Brittany, I'll give Springpad a look-see. I appreciate your insight on the future of search belonging to curated collections. Makes sense to me. 

BTW, I've largely abandoned my "content deal of the day" idea. Just floating a trial balloon, and appreciate your feedback as well as others. 

I love hearing new ideas and collaborating with people to flesh them out. Keep 'em coming! :)

There is a new content curation tool called Pressjack. It has some unique features; like you can search within it for rss feed based on keywords - it finds relevant urls for you to add to your publication, be it an online magazine - an email newsletter or whitepaper. Another keen feature it has is that it is compatible with all devices, PC'S, Laptops, tablets, mobiles. Most apps for content curation are only viewable on tablets and mobiles. Pressjack meets a wider audience,. If anyone is interested you can try are free trial here - please let us know what you think. http://pressjack.3dissue.com/