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Chuck Content Curation: A Key Weapon in our Information Arsenal

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By Chuck Schaeffer

A Key Ingredient in our Blend of Original Research, Remarkable Content & Curated Content

CRM software buyers, practitioners and other participants are drowning in a sea of unfiltered content. The search pendulum has swung to the extreme of presenting too much information, most of it noise, and information seekers struggle to decipher what information is relevant and which sources are trustworthy. Online search has shifted from finding what we're looking for to filtering out what were not.

To try to stem the tide, readers and information gatherers use tools such as search alerts, browser bookmarks, RSS readers, tag clouds or custom folksonomies. However, their filters are broad and no match for the constantly rising tsunami of undifferentiated noise and useless content. The increasing volumes of content producers leveraging their unprecedented ease in publishing content, the plethora of devices – smart phones, cameras, web cams, laptops, iPads – producing daily terabytes of automated content and the ease of redistribution of content over social channels has formed a perfect storm – and a virtual flood of unfiltered, ubiquitous content and a barrier which stands in the way of efficient search. Information seekers continue to drown in a sea of obscurity and clutter.

Within the context of CRM and the confines of our focused community, curation is our strategy to keep our collective heads above water, and more so, to filter, package and share the best ideas in an easy to consume manner.

Curation is the next step in the evolution of content, and a curator is someone who sifts through unfiltered media to discover and share the most relevant and valuable content for their audience.

Our role as content curators is to collect, filter, summarize and publish original content – and then encourage the community to further share, interpret, comment, dissect, tag, rate, rank, nurture or otherwise evolve the content. To stimulate the conversation we sometimes add narrative, apply analysis or invoke leading questions or comments to the community. The community further editorializes and socializes the content (within its own context), in effect creating meta-content, and extending its value and reach in a way that benefits both the original creator, contributory participants and new readers.

A curator is more than a broadcaster of useful information. Curators thoroughly understand the personas and goals of their audience well enough to deliver the most valued content and position it for further augmentation within the context of the community.

Our Curation Process

Our curation mantra is to be fair, be relevant and be trusted. We apply rigor and process in order to deliver consistent results, measure progress toward objectives and continually advance the process. To turn good media into great meaning, we apply the following five step process.

  1. Define quality content – within the context of our community. While our definition of quality is an evolving and living standard, we nonetheless start with the end in mind. For as the Alice In Wonderland Cheshire Cat (allegedly) advises, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." This is one of those tasks where knowing your audience is essential. For us, quality is the most valuable content to educate, engage or entertain our community.

  2. Identify content sources. There's no shortage of good content sources. In fact that's why curation is necessary in the first place. The challenge is to cast a wide enough net while applying rigorous enough filters to surface only the most helpful content for our community. We use a suite of tools, and some custom techniques such as reputation scoring, for the initial screening of new content. We also seek out multiple types of content, including written (i.e. blog posts, forum conversations, articles, white papers, ebooks, etc.), audio and video.

  3. Apply a human review. Mechanical filters can only go so far. To flush out the best content, we task our Editors to examine and apply our process to every article and selectively handpick those which our readers would most appreciate. At this stage we also impose additional guidelines which generally weed out content designed for search engine optimization (SEO), self promotion or advertising purposes.

  4. Publish the content. Our guidelines also ensure that content published on our site is accurately described, cites the author and encourages readers to visit the original source. We've taken a lesson from HubSpot and organized much of our content into hubs, however, we also use tag clouds, custom folksonomies, search and other methods so readers can easily access and consume the content in the way they choose.

  5. Amplify and evolve the content. We want to stimulate or promote the content for additional social interaction by the community. To grease the skids, we leverage social tools such as commenting, rating, tagging, following, categorizing, referring, and promoting the content to the community at large. We then promote the content outside our website and through social channels.

Our Curation Mission

The deluge of online noise is drowning prospects in a sea of information overload. Our website curation strategy seeks to answer this challenge and our curators are subject matter experts who immerse themselves in this topic. We sift through the best information sources on the Web, reference the best minds in the industry, share the best of the best content, package it for fast and easy consumption, facilitate community interaction for added value and save our readers valuable time. We hope as a member of the community you'll join us in our mission. End

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Comments (8) — Comments for this page are closed —

Guest Alexa Monaic
  So you're a content curator (if that's a real role), like a museum curator. I think I got it.
  Chuck Schaeffer Chuck Schaeffer
    It is a real role and yes we are. According to New World Encyclopedia, curators are topic experts who manage, administer, or organize a collection for an exhibition – at a museum, library, archive, zoo and others. The term originates from the Latin (cura), which means care. Content curators collect, filter, tag, summarize and publish original content – where it is then shared, commented, rated, ranked or otherwise evolved. There is a natural analogy to link content curators to museum curators because of the common title. It's a fair match. Museum curators don't just display relics or artifacts for viewing, they reach out to other researchers, buffs or interested parties to learn from the objects and promote continued learning. The value of a magnificent mummy is diminished without passionate followers to seek out its history, mysteries and lessons. Also like museums, not all curators are for all visitors. Community focus is key. In fact, the greater the focus, the greater the curation results for the community. Curators also share comparisons to radio station DJ's who assemble play lists or magazine editors who decide what stories make the cut.
Guest Zach Kirk
  So is content still king?
  Chuck Schaeffer Chuck Schaeffer
    It depends on who you ask. In an interesting article published by Steve Rosenbaum on, titled "Content Is No Longer King; Curation is King", his argument is that content is no longer king because it isn't scarce, because it's everywhere, it's overwhelming and its gone from quality to noise. While he makes valid points, I tend to believe the future online content throne will be shared among creators and curators, with each playing a valuable and symbiotic role.
Guest Denise Johnson
  Don't you think Google responds to this challenge?
  Chuck Schaeffer Chuck Schaeffer
    Search itself is challenged by the torrent of marginal information and over-abundance of clutter. Search is invaluable, but not up to the purpose of curation. Search too often delivers results that don't matter, consume valuable time and leave searchers frustrated. Search is constrained to algorithmic response, and can't provide the judgment, insight and relevancy of curators and crowd sourced collaboration.
Guest Denise Johnson
  Good point, but I think it's inevitable that Google will figure this out and get into the game.
  Chuck Schaeffer Chuck Schaeffer
    Perhaps. I don't know Google's plans, however, their history is to implement programs that can scale. That's an impediment to good curation. There is great value in both content creation and curation, however, adding the seemingly next logical discipline of automation is what makes content obscure and ubiquitous. Human editors are the means to extract and share not what is the most popular or indexed, but what is the most relevant to a particular topic or audience. Content curators replace algorithmic search with human intelligence, insight and perspective. Curators provide a service for their audience. They help cut through the noise and deliver the most relevant and valuable information to a given audience.


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As more content floods through all aspects of the web, we'll need more brands stepping up to make sense of what we really should be paying attention to."

~ Joe Pulizi, Founder Junta42


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