If there is one thing we can all agree on about the Internet it is the fact that it is stuffed with information. Every day, the internet grows by a phenomenal amount. Indeed, according to the Executive Chairman of Google when he spoke at a conference in 2010, the amount of information being added to the Internet every 48 hours was equivalent to the entire amount of human information that had been amassed from the dawn of time to 2003…! And since 2010, the amount has clearly gone up again.
We are living in an information-rich world where we can have vast amounts of information on almost any subject we care to name, all within seconds. But how do we sort through it all? After all, we cannot read it all or watch it all. For instance, if you want to find out about “colour psychology” you’ll find that there are almost 7 hours worth of videos on YouTube to watch, as well as over 80 documents on Scribd to read, 47 articles on Ezinearticles.com to look at and a further 59,300 results on Google to check out. Unless you are going to devote your entire life to one narrow subject there is no hope of ever being able to process all this “stuff”.
Not only that, the amount of material being added just goes up and up and up. Over 100,000 new WordPress blogs are created every day, there’s 40 hours worth of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and there are 5,340 new websites created every hour.
Luckily, “content curation” is providing the answer – and it gives you an opportunity too. Content curation is where a trusted individual, or company, trawls through the web for all the information on a subject and then presents regular summaries and updates with links to the most relevant material.
All you have to do is find a good curator of a subject and follow their activity. You can trust them and rely on them to find the good stuff online, saving you time and effort.
But it can also provide a way of reducing information overload amongst your potential customers, thereby giving them a reason to stay loyal to you and make it more likely they will buy from you. Equally, if you curate content in specialist areas relating to your customer needs, you will gain reputation, visitors, followers – all the things you need to ensure your online presence is high.
So how do you curate content?
The first step is being “in the know” for your own specialist topic. Use something like Google Reader to collect all the RSS feeds of the top bloggers in your area or have something like Netvibes to pull together a range of websites and feeds on a particular topic. Whatever you do, you need to have the raw content to begin with.
But once you have content, how do you curate it and where can people get your collected materials? There are several options. Either you can add your content to your own blog, set up a new blog just for curated content, or add the material to a curation service.
If you want to add content to your own blog there are several software options you can choose from. For instance, there is CurationSoft or PageOne Curator. Both are similarly priced and do similar jobs, though PageOne Curator has more options.
Alternatively, there is Paper.li which allows you to produce curated content which people can subscribe to via email. There is also Xydo which lets you curate content and send it out as an email newsletter.
But whichever system you choose, the mere fact that you are curating content will help your business because in the explosion of information which is happening right now, people are looking for clarity. The people who provide that will be the winners.
You can see a couple of quick examples of curated content which I produced in minutes before I wrote this blog post. One is on the psychological impact of social media and the other is on free content curation software.
- Digital Overload and the Curation Crossroads (bbc.co.uk)
- Can Content Curation Help Your Marketing (openforum.com)
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+