"On her blog, Nancy White did a great job detailing the various levels at which Curation adds value. And how it differs from collecting.
A Learning & Innovation specialist, she also greatly outlines how curation and education are a great fit," says Neli Maria Mengalli.
I agree and for me, the whole post is interesting as a great analysis of the value of curation in increasing knowledge in a community, in this case an educational community.
I think the emphasis Nancy places on having the students curate as a learning activity, and to increase their information literacy is especially telling. It seems to me to point up a way that best practices could actually be shared and discussed within organizations. I have often seen companies try to implement knowledge sharing around best practices but it frequently falls to the wayside,especially as content ages.
It seems like curation could be a way to keep adding to the discussion and the currency of best practices by introducing fresh voices and real life examples.
This article by Lee Odden at TopRankBlog focuses on the use of content curation in a marketing context - but the opening sentence really caught my eye as a way to think about what we're doing when we curate:
"One of the great talents of an effective content marketer is the ability to re-create or as my pal Ann Handley says, “reimagine” content. "
I love the idea that content is "reimagined" and repurposed because it implies a point of view, a purpose beyond mere collection and republishing. And those are good things in my book!
In the article, Lee outlines some practical reasons and ways to reuse content
- efficiency in a hub and spoke model
- catering to the fact of short attention spans and fast moving social media
- the ability to build SEO relevancy
- the possibility of personalizing for different verticals or customer segments
It's that last one that really speaks to me in an internal comms world - the possibility that content can be repurposed, reframed and reused to draw out the benefits for different employee groups and delivered via vehicles specific to those groups.
Lee concludes with something else that seems as relevant to internal audiences as to external customers:
"Beyond the realm of simple content re-purposing is the notion of tapping into the collective wisdom and curation power of communities."
Inviting the audience to participate in a conversation and collaborate in building greater understanding around a topic could give corporate leadership some powerful insights while also providing employees with a way to share and learn.
A great piece from the Future Journalism Project featuring Jenny Rooney, editor -curator of the Forbes CMO Network.
Jenny explains that curation for her is about "bringing other voices into the conversation." She finds and vets experts and invites them to bring their informed perspectives into a discussion with other participants and with minimal editorial oversight.
Jenny does a great job of explaining how journalism functions in an age social media and how control has devolved. Journalists no longer have complete control over the story - it's now a participative event and its part of Jenny's role to ensure that the conversation is high quality and relevant to her audience.
This seems to me to echo the situation in internal comms as we've moved from top down messaging to more of a conversation and it also seems to me that Jenny's approach could work well for internal comms. Invite a few external experts to blog regularly, mix in some hand picked internal voices and you could have a credible way to broaden the ongoing corporate conversations and open up the discussions.
Great article from Beth Kanter where she skillfully reworks a graphic that compares the attributes of "good" curation with those of "bad" curation. It's a really useful graphic for reminding us of what we're striving for, and what we're trying to avoid!
Beth also succinctly outlines the ongoing discussion about the value of curation and quotes both Robin Good and Guillaume DeCugis to illuminate the issue. The question about whether curation has a value or is simply the "theft" and republishing of other's material is a lively one.
I have to agree with Robin Good ( well, little surprise there!) when he draws the distinction between the value that is provided by those with good good curation skills versus those with a less well developed approach:
"You should NOT mix-up republishing, self-expression and easy-content-sharing with curation, because they are in fact at opposite extremes of the same spectrum."
I agree. I think curation is really only of value when we can use it to join the dots for audiences, by broadening the story that we're sharing and explaining exactly why we think a particular piece of content is worth sharing in the context of a specific audience's needs. Otherwise it's just reposting anything and everything that crosses our virtual desk - and I don't see any purpose or additional value in that.
Useful presentation from Shel Holz that shows actual examples of curation for internal communications.
He talks about the stages of the process and demos various examples of how curation is being done by organizations from Ragan and Smart Brief to the NYT.
Shel notes areas where internal communicators could use curation - for news about the company, competitors, the industry or the marketplace - and shows how AEP curates content on its intranet.
He quotes the head of internal comms for AEP "The external news helps employees to better understand the external forces that affect internal decisions. It's clear to me that our employees are much more informed as a result."
Another emerging trend is the ability for employees to share articles from the company , provided they do not contain proprietary information, via social media as a way of promoting the company.
Shel then turns to the use of curation in training - and shows an example of curated instructional video for a health care client. Another great idea!
Vital professions - how about finding an enthusiastic professional in the firm to curate useful professional info for the others?
Needless to say, there is a ton of useful, practical information in this presentation. It is an hour long ( including Q&A) but it's definitely worth it!
Guybrariangray (great name!) thinking about the possibilities for content curation in his educational institution. He argues that Google is making progress in curation but because its automated it can be gamed and therefore isn't as useful as it could be.
What caught my eye from the internal comms perspective was this:
"One of the ways we intend to leverage this is not just through our own internal expertise, but through engagement with our user population by providing them the ability to recommend resources, curate personal collections, and help to create context for other users to perform search. This sort of active engagement is great for an institution like ours with a limited population with a focused information need, and practical expertise."
Again, this is a post that looks at content curation as part of an external marketing mix but it has some useful and relevant info that we can also use.
The author quotes some research that breaks companies into three groups according to how much curated and how much created content they share:
-Curators = Companies that link to third-party sites 75% or more of the time. -Balanced = Companies that link to third-party sites 50-75% of the time. -Self-Promoters = Companies that link to their own content 50% or more of the time.
Balanced companies , the ones that mix in 25-50% of their own content with 50-75% of high quality curated materials seem to do best at driving conversation and engagement.
I haven't seen any similar research for internal comms and I would expect that employees would prefer to see a higher amount of internally created content ( say closer to the 50% margin) but without data , that's just a guess so far.
Shel Holtz discusses some ways that organizations can focus their curation efforts. He suggests four potential hooks for content curation:
- Curating news around an event: By curating comments from customers, partners and consumers, you've created something way more interesting than the traditional pitch for media coverage.
- Curating around issues or subjects : high quality curation of relevant materials can be carried out by individuals or teams . In doing so , they provide a service for other employees and also boost their own reputation and profile.
- Allowing employees to share content with external sources via social media: Shel makes a case for enabling sharing for internal articles that are also suitable for external consumption . Let your employees spread the word about your company.
-Curating by the Comms team to help employees understand the forces at play in their market.
As always, Shel makes a cogent, interesting argument backed up with real world examples from companies including PepsiCo and American Electric Power.
I don't agree with the title - I don't think there's a death struggle between creation and curation of content, and that curation done well is actually pretty creative too...
Anyway, this is a lengthy piece that looks at ways to think about creation and curation as an expansion of the idea that "content creation is not a one way street". As an internal comms person, this seems to fit quite naturally with the change I've seen from central top-down messaging to more democratic and participative communications inside companies.
Tracy Halvorsen makes several interesting points in the course of the piece but the bit that really stood out for me was that curation is "interpretation of the brand".
For me, this provides a way to start thinking about guidelines for curation . We can use thoughtful curation as a tool to help employees interpret our company's brand, by promoting, sharing and commenting on content that shows our brand both in context and in comparison to others. Content curation becomes a tool for us to help us show different viewpoints and spark discussion, which - as we all know - is the real key to understanding and ultimately engagement.
So , as with most pieces about content curation, it's not focused on internal comms uses but I think it's a useful contribution for us.
Interesting piece from PHDIQ New Zealand about the definition of content curation and some tips to ensure you're providing value rather than simply re-posting.
I particularly like the first tip: " Have a reason for being." Having a clear point of view and an understanding of what content will provide value to your audience is essential. Without an editorial perspective, you're just adding to the clutter.
You're not curating if you leave the filtering and connecting the dots part of the experience entirely in the reader's hands.
For me, the exciting possiblity of curation is that opportunity to showcase a variety of perspectives that can add to the audience's understanding or appreciation of an issue. And I think that's true whether we're talking internal or external communication.
A short little post from In Context MultiMedia containing some tweets about new ways to use curation. Again, not strictly all focused on internal comms but some great little ideas to get you going.
I like Michele Linn's idea: Feature blog posts from Thought Leaders in your field, recruit guest bloggers, have people live-blog events. I'm also a fan of Amanda Maksymiw who says: For a company blog, invite several employees to write and curate content in their area of expertise.
These are not complicated ideas but sounds like a good way to funnel more valuable content to employees.
Although this article is focused on curation as a marketing tool, I think it's equally applicable to internal comms.
The premise is that content curation can be useful for enhancing a brand's reputation. "A study of 400 professional marketers conducted in March 2012 by Curata, an online content curation provider, shows 85 percent of marketers believe effective content curation establishes thought leadership and elevates brand visibility and buzz."
Why shouldn't this also be true of the internal audience? I think curation can be one way to establish the company as a source of reliable, useful information that helps people to understand the strategy, the market context for the business, and other interesting things going on in the field.
One issue I've seen in internal comms is a reluctance to acknowledge external sources, as though employees don't have access, or don't care about what the world is saying about their profession or their company. I believe providing good quality, reliable content - even if ( especially if?) it comes from the outside is actually a way to promote employee loyalty and trust in the company.
As Curata put it: "Just as readers want the news and audiences at comedy clubs want jokes, consumers want — and often need — reliable sources of information. Delivering reliable information can enhance a brand and increase brand loyalty."
Substitute "employees" for "consumers" and I think the argument holds up.
This is a great magazine from the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA).
This issue includes articles on how to reuse content with confidence, a great checklist for curation and a really nifty piece on a newbie's experience with Scoop.it.
I really like the format of the online magazine too - it occurs to me that curation doesn't need to stay online. A regular magazine style collection of longer articles of either curated content, or comment on a curated piece might work well in some circumstances. I'm noodling on that....
Not strictly focused on Internal Comms ( well, not at all really) but I found this piece fascinating anyway.
Biserka Anderson looks at the question raised by Jermy Garner in The Wall of whether we are all curating our virtual selves, tweaking our online profiles to reinvent the way we appear online.
Biserka goes on to share Jeremy's view that "our real self and our curated self are almost two separate identities" and his conclusion that the more time we spend as our online self , the more our real self changes to become closer to our online version. A case of life imitating art?
Not sure if I subscribe to Jeremy's view but Biserka's blog post is likely to generate some interesting answers, I think.
Is curation just a fancy name for stealing? Emily Grim takes a look at the recent discussions around attribution and properly citing curated content.
She references a recent NYT article from David Carr: “Where is the line between promoting the good work of others and simply lifting it? Naughty aggregation is analogous to pornography: You know it when you see it.”
Fascinating video that features content curators talking about what drives them - for most it's curiosity - and I know that drives me to search out things that are interesting and useful for my little store of knowledge.
The video kicks off the authors thoughts about means of curating different kinds of content - "stock" content that is more durable and has a shelf life , and "flow" content that is more concerned with the daily update and conversation.
The reason for considering these, at least in part, is to think about the branding work we do. Is there a shift from a more communications campaign focus, with a beginning and an end ( more "stock" content) to an "always on " approach that also incorporates more of the "flow" content ? And if so, how do we manage that, measure it , improve it and invite people to join in?
Liz Wilson writes on the Paper.li community blog about the distinction between "curator" and "editor" and quotes Robin Good's checklist of attributes of a high quality curator.
The comments section has some interesting contributions from readers about what they feel distinguishes, or doesn't , curation from editing. I don't care particularly about the terminology but I think this is a useful exploration of what curation can be when done well.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.