By Sharon Hurley Hall
Have you started curating content yet? Content curation has become an important part of the content marketing mix and it seems that everyone’s doing it. It’s a way to collect what’s most interesting about a topic and share it with others.
It might seem a cop-out to make your mark with other people’s content (and yes, let’s face it, it’s a way to connect with your target audience without having to do the heavy lifting of creating all the content yourself).
But there are lots of different ways to curate content, as Moz points out, and in the best case, you can add value to the content you collect with your own commentary.
In this roundup I’ll bypass those that are simply aggregators to focus on tools that allow you to add your own insight. Here they are:
Scoop.it is content curation powerhouse that many people love. You can import RSS feeds and search social media sites from within the interface to generate suggestions that you can then scoop to a curated digest. For each scoop, you are encouraged to add your insight, and you can also share both individual scoops and the whole digest via an impressive array of social networks. With built-in analytics and lots of customization features, I think this is one of the best content curation tools around.
RebelMouse takes a slightly different approach, with the focus on creating social media front pages and topic based websites. Like Scoop.it, it can automatically pull in content for review from a range of social media, web and video sources and you can then add this to your site in a range of customizable tabs. You can also create your own updates on the site and share the digest as a whole.
Paper.li is perhaps one of the best known content curation tools, but it only just makes the cut in this roundup. That’s because the option to add insight is limited to adding an editor’s note. Still, the rich range of sources, customization features and ability to schedule publication of digests make this a useful tool.
Like the other tools, Storify allows you to collect information shared on social media. The difference is that you use your curations to tell a story, weaving your own narrative in between the elements you collect. The resulting narrative is interactive and shareable. While it requires more input from users, its use by everyone from individuals to major brands show its importance not just for curation but for storytelling.
Other Content Curation Tools
In addition to the tools listed above, there are many, many others. While they all work pretty much the same way in terms of harnessing information, a few have some special features.
5. Content Gems helps you discover content from more than 200,000 sources based on keywords and social sharing, then collect them and share your insights on topic pages.
6. Themeefy offers content curation for education. Users create a theme, research and collect relevant resources on a theme page, add insights and share the pages with both colleagues and students. It can be used to assess students too.
7. Curata is a business focused content curation tool, which allows you to discover, organize, annotate and comment on content, as well as broadcast and distribute it. Curata says its strength is a self learning engine which learns your preferences to make content recommendations better and better.
8. Kuratur, which is still in beta, looks like the child of Paper.li and Storify. According to its founder, it offers the ability to follow both sources and particular authors (called “voices”), to add insight and to customize every aspect of the resulting publication.
9. Bag the Web allows you to curate organize content in “bags”, link those bags, add your commentary and share.
10. Pearltrees is a bit different from other tools. It allows you to collect, comment and share but it does not have a magazine interface. It’s more like an extended mindmap, making it easy to demonstrate relationships among resources.
These tools offer a wide range of curation and sharing options, but if you still want more, check out this extended list from Writtent.
Self-confessed word nerd and polymath Sharon Hurley Hall has the perfect job – as a professional writer and blogger. And when she can indulge her geeky side and write about new web tools, it’s a little slice of heaven. She’s often spotted hanging around on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.