You hear that content is king and the latest curations applications and tools allow you to take advantage of the content kings to manage your daily diet of news and information. With the large volumes of content being produced today by everyone from the major networks, businesses and local bloggers and enthusiasts, individuals have a huge amount of content to curate and share with others. RSS readers where the early innovators in curating the constant firehouse of information into our shotglass attention span but they were cumbersome and text heavy.
A few years ago I wrote about how aggregators like NetVibes and Pageflakes were allowing us to create mash up pages in minutes. These tools are great for listening stations and but lack the intelligence that the new generation of curation tools offer. These tools are also driving clicks like never before. These curation tools are helping us fill Facebook and Twitter streams, driving significant traffic volume, making corporate brands take notice. I’ve even noticed how Delicious has updated their interface since the last update a few months ago with the release of stacks.
Scoop.it is a nice tool to gather and distribute content from around the Web based on your interests and passions. Scoop.it creates a page with previews and links to content you “scoop”and has good community tools for following other curators. Most of these sites have the ability to “Re” post content another user has already flagged. Scoop.it has some great B2B curators in specific vertical markets and found it to be good resource to gather industry-specific content.
Paper.li seems to be the most used of the content curation tools among people I follow on Twitter and probably has the most traffic of any This site has really done the best job of attracting uses and generating links. The aspect of publishing a daily paper based off your articles of interest and giving recognition for the source as a key contributors via Twitter is both annoying and brilliant. Even though I don’t want a daily paper for myself I find myself clicking through to friends papers and enjoying the clean interface. And if you use Paper.li change your title to differentiate the daily tweets other than the typical tweets of “The YOUR NAME HERE Daily is out…”
Pinterest is the latest media story as it started popping into the list of sites driving the most traffic on the internet last month. For the most part the initial growth was driven by women using it as a virtual scrapbook for visual items of interest such as clothes, interior design and food. Pintrest is one part bookmarking and one part image gallery with a clean interface that allows you to create a more engaging curation. You can only “pin” images to a board, but the link is preserved to allow for the click thereby driving traffic to the source site. Also other community members can post comments similar to Facebook wall posts threads. Pinterest is different from traditional bookmarking sites like Delicious, Digg and StumbleUpon in that it pins an image, movie or other media object with link to page. However the ability to visually scan designs and rich media content is very nice.
My wife @MCDezigns showed Zite to me and we both love it. Zite not only has the best content for what I’m interested in reading it also has great one-click bookmarking, easy social sharing with flexibility using multiple accounts. I recently downloaded the iPhone app and use it everyday to quickly scan articles of interest and either read or bookmark them to read later in the day. Zite has simple thumbs up/down approval tool similar to Pandora to customize your content. The stream will even draw from your social stream with lesser presence than Flipboard. Zite has a large library of Sections to choose from and they have groomed their content well in terms of quality and frequency.
Flipboard definetly captured everyones attention when iPads first came out. Using simple swipe navigation it offers a great magazine of news and social media content. For social media content I like how photos are previewed in larger sizes and it’s easier to view photos than on your Facebook wall or Twitter stream as well as photos sites like Instagram. The latest release allows for multiple accounts so that you can share on iPad for multiple users as well as new iPhone version.
The latest entry tinto the curation space is Google Currents. Matching the new Google interface design it works best with Google+ but has sharing and bookmarking integration. No doubt that curation and clicks resulting from Google Current users are are going to factor into how the Google ranking juice is made. Currents has a library of major content sites as well as the ability to pull from any RSS feed in your Google Reader. There is also a trending list of links that you can browse that is similar to search results you would see in the “News” result of a Google Search. The clean interface and design is similar to Flipboard and Zite with the ability to simply swipe between pages and topics. What I think Google should have done was skip the redesign of Google Reader and instead migrated it into Currents with a website interface.
The last three tools listed here are only avaiable as a tablet or smartphone app. Scoop.it, Paper.ly and Pinterest all offer websites to create your pages and manage your account. These tools have bookmarklets and other simple tools to tag a page and categorize the content.
What’s your content curation tool of choice?
Brian McDonald started Square Jaw Media to document strategies and techniques he had used over his experience working in marketing and communications since 1990. During this time Brian wrote about many of the exciting Raleigh social media events where great knowledge was being shared and tries to share some of the tips and tricks. . Read Brian's full bio.