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Last week while on a business trip, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman seated next to me on the plane (who also happened to be a tech marketer) about content curation and how difficult it can be at times to keep up with the barrage of information flowing through the Web. We discussed all of the curation tools available, what we liked and didn’t like about them and successful ways to organize consistent, timely, and relevant information updates to our respective communities that kept them active and engaged. During the discussion I asked him what he thought was the key to successful curation that helps a marketer create their own meaningful, innovative content. After all, successful content curation requires the right mix of original content to help maximize SEO potential.
“Learn how to be an intellectual thief,” he said.
He went on to explain that for most people content curation is not only about discovering the most important and relevant information to share, but it’s also about searching for clues within content to help expound on topics of discussion or carry the conversation in a different direction from another relevant angle by creating your own original content. It takes a refined eye to not only identify the most meaningful subject related content, but to use that content to your intellectual advantage for publishing needs and continued professional development.
Here are 5 content curation tips you can use to help hone your skills and become an “intellectual thief.” (Probably important to mention that by “thief” I’m not referring to stealing content or copying other people’s work without proper attribution or linking to the source – always remember to do that!):
- Read the comments section of posts and articles – Dive deep into the fertile ground of blog posts and articles comments sections. You are sure to find a treasure trove of expert insights and opinions often with new or opposing viewpoints to the original article or blog post content. This is a great way to learn new perspectives, identify industry experts to interview (or ask to guest blog) and think creatively about developing new content that carries the theme in a different direction.
- Research content in industries other than your own – You would be surprised just how much can be learned from reading and researching information within verticals unrelated to your own. If you are struggling to come up with fresh ideas on new content for your own community, take a look at industries outside of your comfort zone for new ideas. For example and since I work for a multi-national company, I sometimes look at how car manufacturers market their products in other countries for new content ideas.
- Be the first to comment on an article or post – Ever stumbled across an outstanding piece of content that no one has commented on? Why not be the first to offer some feedback to help spark the conversation? I frequently comment on articles written by experts in targeted industries that have kicked off conversations for my own brand content.
- Get out of the house and away from your computer/mobile device: To truly be an intellectual thief it requires an adequate amount of time participating in live conversations away from a computer or phone. Since the idea of overhearing online conversations is impossible, attending industry networking and educational conferences opens the door to exchanging ideas and letting your ears multitask.
- Familiarize yourself with content curation tools and define a purpose: This isn’t a “how to” post on proper content curation techniques but if you aren’t using some of the free web tools available or if you haven’t identified the reason that you are curating content in the first place, here are some tips on where to get started:
- Free tools – Storify.com, Scoopit.com, Google +, Bundlr.com, Pearltrees.com
- This SEOmoz blog post is an excellent resource for the what, how and why of content curation.
What tips would you give someone on how to be a content curation “intellectual thief?” Please share them with us.
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