Content curation tools are designed to assist the process of searching, collating and sharing existing content. Content curation differs from simple content aggregation in that curators screen for the most relevant content, and often edit or comment it. By curating content on a topic close to them, brands can position themselves as a go-to expert on that topic and embed their communication into the richer context of external content sources.
Content curation tools are multiplying like wild mushrooms. Category leaders, like Pinterest, tumblr and Scoop.it are growing impressively fast.
At the same time, other tools from social media, blogging and search, such as Twitter, Paper.li and Google are strengthening their curation functionality.
Observer (like me) are starting to make distinctions among subcategories like Search Curation (Topsy, Feedsquares), Video Curation (Magnify.net), Content Trends curation (Zemanta, Parse.ly), Corporate Curation (Curata, CurationSoft, Digimind), Content Relationships curation (Pearltrees, Mind.it).
The most popular category is Social Curation. Social Curation enables users to clip and publically share content (mostly pictures, graphics and video) in the form of attractive personalized mood boards (typical of Pinterest, Bundlr).
A more specialized form of Social content curation helps users turn twitter feeds into threaded stories (Storify, Dashter).
We can expect much of the Pinterest-style social curation to turn into Shopping Curation à la OpenSky.
We can also expect the debate about content curation and copyright infringment to continue to rage. Attribution to the original source should be a fundamental requirement of Content Curation. But it can be difficult when content is re-"pinned" again and again. Scoop.it is one of the best tools in terms of facilitating content attribution.