To Curate or Not to Curate

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Once upon a time, a “curator” was a person who worked at a library, museum, or zoo. He or she was responsible for caring for the collection that was the core of the institution and for selecting which items to display. In today’s blogging world, “curation” refers to the act of posting a selection of resources in a single post.

With all the information flying around these days, curation has become one way you can add value, by selecting out choice bits that your readers might not find on their own. Steve Rosenbaum distinguishes “aggregation” (the automated gathering of links) from “curation” (adding the power of human judgement in selecting the posts to present). He assures us that content curation is here to stay.

Benefits of Content Curation

Publishing curated posts demonstrates your expertise. It also delivers value to your readers. But there’s a potential downside.

Dangers of Content Curation

Curation can become a time sink as you search for good posts to share. If you work for yourself, then a time sink is the same thing as a productivity sink, something to avoid.

Recommendation: Consider regular curated posts only if you’re doing the research anyway. That makes preparing the actual posts more like assembly than creative writing.

Three Examples of Curated Posts

If you’re considering curated posts, here are three models to consider.

Julie Ferguson at HR Web Café posts occasional lists of resources on a particular subject of interest to her readers. Here’s a link to one she called a “Holiday Survival Kit” with pointers to helpful resources. Note that this is a fairly long list with very little comment on individual links.

Jane Perdue publishes “Leadership Friday Favs” every Friday. She describes her posts this way.

“Our Friday leadership favorites are an eclectic collection of articles, blog posts, quotes, pod casts and whatever else engages our interest. Some items are recent, others aren’t. Some are mainstream, others are off the beaten path.”

Jane keeps the URL the same from week to week. Only the content changes. Jane adds comments for every item she selects.

At the beginning of every week, I publish “Leadership Reading to Start Your Week.” A good example is my post from December 18, 2011. My intent is to find interesting posts and then supplement them with commentary and pointers to other resources. This post takes a couple of hours to do, but it’s great review for me and my most-visited feature.

Two Tests for Any Curated Post

Your post must deliver value to your reader.

The effort you put into the post must match the payback.

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What People Are Saying

Jane Perdue   |   11 Jan 2012   |   Reply

Wally –

Honored to be included in your post! I echo your belief that curating only makes sense if you are doing the research anyway (which we are). And, in fact, it was your weekly recap that inspired me to share…so a big tip of the hat to you!

Thanks and warm regards,

Jane