Much talk is centered around content curation currently and the cyber marketing experts are putting out much hot air. But what is so different about content curation? Surely we have been doing this already via our Tweets, links we post to Facebook or our StumbleUpon button and never mind the newer Google+ facility.
We are in effect curating every time we share an item that we or somebody else has produced.
Enter curation sites such as Scoop.it and there is now an even easier way to send out stuff to anybody who wants to get hit by it.
In a way there is a difference between social media sharing such as one does via such sites as Digg for instance and on the other hand content curation. In a way Pinterest was the first major content curation site.
What you do on Pinterest is set up different categories or boards that you might be interested in. Then while you are browsing the internet you pin any image that you like into those categories. Other people will see that, and of course it’s the done thing to encourage other folk to ‘follow’ one, and repin the image to their pals and followers.
As an example, Yeah Can’s Pinterest focuses mostly on design. There are categories on graphic and web design, but also boards on a variety of topics associated with design such as interior and furniture design. When the folk at Yeah Can spot a cool design they pin it.
Now we are trying out Scoop.it to see how general content curation works. Pinterest mostly does images, or so it is meant to do. Scoop.it allows one to curate anything on a specific topic.
The point of content curation is to collect content on specific topics and present this with commentary to ones readers. But what is really happening is that people are curating without commenting. In fact Scoop.it makes this an easy task as it scours the interweb for articles related to your topic and the search words you have entered to describe your topic. You just click on the Scoop.it button and hey presto you have a curated topic.
Of course this is not truly curating in its traditional sense. A curator in the truest form of the word is somebody who methodically and creatively puts together a collection addressing a topic. Then he or she adds a commentary to it to ensure that the viewer/reader gets the message.
Check out museums and galleries where great curators have put together the most amazing collections. They source items from all over the world or at least the museums with good budgets allow their curators this luxury.
A curated show at a museum on ancient Egyptian artifacts as an example can be amazing. Because under one roof you are able to view items that have been collected and looked after in a range of museums scattered across the globe. It’s a true treat.
What is happening in the content curation space is regrettably nothing like it. It’s a bunch of internet marketers on the whole, and of course there are exceptions, who let the software they are using such as Scoop.it find the content and without reading it send it out into cyberspace as curated content. No comment, no understanding or knowledge of what they have just put together. They are worshipping at the altar of the ‘traffic to my website’ gods.
Of course this is early days. Content curation, although around for a while, is only now starting to hit the mainstream of media manipulators. There are bound to be changes to this landscape. As always, interesting times ahead.