Content Curation Comparison

Content curation platforms

content curation

Welcome to content curation. Not to be confused with content aggregation, curation is a three-fold process:

Seek + Sense + Share
Know what you’re looking for.  Next, create meaning for that piece of content. Make “sense” of it by learning how to annotate links, writing a blog post, or summarizing key points. Once you’ve applied context, it’s time to share. Provide the best nuggets of content to your audience in a format they can access, digest and share.

A simple way to conduct this timely process (and daily practice) is finding the best curators on a topic and immediately following them. Thank them and credit each source, too. (Curate does not mean steal.)

Best Curation Platforms
I’ve complied a list of 53 content curation and social bookmarking sites. You can view it here: Platform_Comparison_baran_0910

My comparative view includes the following criteria:

    • Automatic selection: To select content, the application uses an algorithm based on various factors such as link popularity, the authority of the source.
    • Edit: The curator has the ability to edit content, add a comment, an opinion, layout (prioritization of news, etc..). This option is crucial. It gives added value to the selection and content sharing.
    • Output formats: Most tools offer an output thematic webpage, that is to say a custom page to the topic of attorney on the publisher’s site, and visible to all. The links on this page may be generally shared on Twitter and Facebook. Widget format or embed (embedded code) is essential for those who need to publish the proxy on their website or intranet leu (media site, blogs, brand content for corporate, etc.).
    • Export: For developers who want to integrate the proxy, an API is essential, an RSS output can be useful.
    • Social Network: the tool provides features social networking or animation of a community around the theme.
    • Collaboration: the tool allows the proxy to several on a theme.
    • Analytics: Measuring functions of traffic, trends, influence are bundled.
    • Mobile App: Application is available
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Content Marketing Lessons from ‘The Lorax’

The Lorax UniversalThe Lorax, released on Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday relates the tale of a forest guardian who protects the trees and animals.

Parallels to modern-day are pretty obvious. The 12-year old boy in search of a real Truffula Tree is anyone seeking truth in an era of cyber pollution. Accosted with whitepapers, infographics, presentations, blog posts, tweets, updates, feeds, webinars, etc. is more content marketing than we can consume during a lifetime of 120 years. Content muckrakers are nearly extinct like Truffula Trees. Here’s my/our tale:

Way back in the days when the Internet was still green
and the content was still fresh
and false info was still lean,
and the voice of media rang out in cyberspace…
I joined the ranks of this beautiful place.
And I first saw Real Journalists!
I sourced magazines and books and shared content online!
Content is recycled, re-purposed, regurgitated, reused, devalued and polluting cyberspace… 

So who is our content Lorax?

Step aside, Google. The Panda algorithm can’t save us. It’s another ‘thneed’ disguised as a preventative measure to mass ‘thneed’ production.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” — The Lorax

Become a content Lorax to:

  • Learn from the past to improve future content
  • Challenge the status quo by using integrity and authenticity to reach your audience
  • Craft quality which attracts quality…Use your passion to promote quality content creation — especially if it’s unpopular within your internal org. Truth has resonance and does prevail.
  • Turn fear into fuel for new ideas. Spark innovation by experimenting with new techniques and package content in original ways. Forget the whitepapers, videos, infographics and invent your own method of storytelling. Try traditional mediums with new media twists — a poem, a song, video greeting cards … get creative.

Who’s with me?

Pinterest Content Strategy Secrets

Pinterest boards content

English: Red Pinterest logo

Pinterest, the social platform for collecting, sharing, liking and commenting on of photos for personal “vision boards” is utterly engaging, absorbing, and yeah — addictive. New age gurus and Law of Attraction advocates recommend making collages of images that inspire you to visualize the future you want. This technique etches images into brain activity, triggering the power of the subconscious mind. They work. (So does meditation, sweat and tears.)

Using a similar strategy, users curate their favorite images more carefully than Facebook likes. When people pin items related to brands, for example, they care about content and how the image of the brand reflects upon them.

Here’s how I received instant followers, likes and comments and even a repin by Pinterest HQ:

1. Use creative titles for boards
One of my boards, “Bananas for Bakelite” features a personal addiction for vintage jewelry trends. Pinterest actually repinned a bakelitle purse. Find your unique passion and craft creative headlines and titles which speak to that theme. Always caption your images with cute sayings like, “Off with their heads” when posting images of furniture items like armchairs or thrones, for example. My board, “Armchair Warrior” is popular because it showcases unique images scoured from google, fab.com, jossandmain.com, the foundary and coolhunter.

2. Make captions personal
Under the same board, “Armchair Warrior,” I posted the ever-popular Eames chair and wrote “My boyfriend just bought a replica at __.” This was repinned and commented on — comments are not as common as repins. It requires more effort. Make captions descriptive and use keywords, too.

3. Follow popular users
This one is kind of obvious but it helps build traction and provides a rich experience to emulate. Notice what gets repinned, how often and by whom.

3. Post personal images
|Yes, I promoted my photography skills in an unconventional manner and created a relationship to my work by sharing it with strangers.It was worth it. I love Paris and can’t hold back!

4. Showcase your work/portfolio
Pinterest is an optimal place for designers and creatives to amplify their voice by showcasing their talent. It’s a bit more difficult to pin website redesigns if you’re a content strategist…but you can get creative and post clips, sites you have worked on and elements of design you incorporated. I’ve posted a board called Edgy Infographics. Woking with designers and creatives, we constantly required clickable images for engaging sites and specific data points to capture a B2B audience. Infographics work. Pinning images on Pinterest can help centralize reference materials, clippings and other items to inspire or inform your work.

5. Pay it forward
When you are a true cheerleader to others, it can have a boomerang effect (regardless of timing). I’ve promoted a few artists, and a jewelry designer with a board called, “Works of Art(ists).” It’s not in-your-face marketing. That’s what I like about Pinterest – there’s a sweet spot between passion and promotion.

6. Create a conversation
Think about posting books you have read or music you love and captioning them as mini reviews. Spark engagement by expressing common themes. Pose questions, experiment and have fun! I networked with a book publisher on Pinterest. How awesome is that?!

What’s worked for you?

Brand Indentity Crisis?

Branding is key. We all know it shapes the voice, tone and personality of every channel and every layer of your story.

Larger companies seem to embrace a fractured approach to establishing their forward-facing voice since there are many departments, properties, divisions and the list goes on. Startups have mastered this aspect of branding strategy because they don’t have as much red tape and  employees tend to rally together during a company’s embryonic phase. It’s fresh, new, collaborative and exciting.

Brand makeovers are not. As a content strategist, I have to find clever and tangible ways to position a brand and engage various audiences. So if you don’t have a branding team or branding strategists, what do you do?

Continue reading

Content Strategy Unleashed

Hello and welcome! I’ll be your host and guide you through as many topics as I can. I strive to provide takeaway bite-sized nuggets so you can learn to make your own repeatable and scalable processes, comment, share templates, tactics, presentations, deliverables, insights and more.

As you know, Content Strategy is a hot and growing field in our industry. Though it’s not actually a new concept (it’s been around for nearly a decade), Content Strategy has only recently gained traction – and now it’s impossible not to hear about it.

But despite the buzz, many clients still don’t seem to know what Content Strategy is or how to ‘employ’ content strategists on agency-wide projects. I’m often asked, “What exactly do you do?” The resounding response to my explanation is typically, “Oh, that sounds boring.”

But ennui aside, Content Strategy is in focus now because there’s a great need for it. Content Strategists give clients a way to tune out the static and tune in substance by providing them with:

  • A plan to ensure their content is engaging, accurate and on strategy
  • CMS recommendations to help publish content to the right places at the right time
  • Content maintenance plans
  • A framework for product/site/device storytelling

Effective UX and creative content tells stories and inspires audiences. This appeals to a user’s context. Context includes actions, constraints, emotions, cognitive conditions and specific behaviors. When Content Strategists hone in on these things, they provide the creative team with the framework to recognize and craft a brilliant user experience, winning content, and beautiful design.

An effective and award-winning end result starts with Content Strategists taking basic information, building a strategy, and shaping an experience that truly resonates with an audience.

Although we love our Excel worksheets, there’s not a ‘one-spreadsheet-fits-all’ process-driven formula for Content Strategy. Each project has its own special needs, and we follow a logical course:

Project Scope/Definition –> Research & Analysis –> Strategy –> Implementation –> Management Sample deliverables for Project Scope/Definition include:

  • Content Audit
  • Content Inventory
  • User Research

Sample deliverables for Research & Analysis include:

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Content Gap Analysis

Sample deliverables for Strategy include:

  • Content Strategy Brief
  • Metadata Schema
  • Wireframe Review

Sample deliverables for Implementation include:

  • Content Plan
  • Content Matrix

Sample deliverables for Management include:

  • Editorial Calendar
  • Workflows
  • Analytics Review and Recommendations