Content Curation: Concentrate on informing not scooping

by Carl Natale on April 27, 2011

Content curation

Content curation is sharing the best information not necessarily the newest.

Content curation is nothing new to journalists. They’ve been scanning news wires and selecting the best to share with readers before Al Gore invented the Internet.

So when a journalist from the Poynter Institute shares advice on content curation, pay attention. Julie Moos has great insight on balancing originality with curation and inclusion vs. exclusion.

But I have a slightly different take on her advice about how quickly you need to publish or repurpose:

Lesson #3: Speed kills, but slowness is a painful death of its own.
News moves at the speed of 140 characters. So, if you’re covering news, you must move as fast as the first tweet. Think Twitter first, at least with the basic information. The next challenge is to break away from your stream long enough to craft a quick, meaningful post that identifies the kernel of truth and importance in an unfolding event. That’s the originality you can share on Twitter and elsewhere. Five minutes — or 15 — can place you on the wrong end of a retweet, at the bottom of the search results, or buried in an email inbox.

via The obligatory and the original: 3 things I learned from our week as Romenesko | Poynter.

News about news for news junkies

Sure if you’re providing content for journalists who are always on deadline and put a premium on being the first to know and inform Julie’s advice is gold.

But for the rest of us, being first doesn’t mean as much. Here’s why:

  • First, if you’re curating content, you’re not first. You’re re-publishing news that someone else has reported. And it’s unlikely they’re the only source. So you’re not going to be publishing any scoops.
  • Second, news is relative. If you’re a day behind the story but your audience hasn’t heard it yet, you’re going to be giving them something new. Not everyone is as connected as you. That’s why you’re doing this.
  • Third, sometimes you need to repeat yourself. Social media is hit and miss. No one is reading your every tweet, update, email or post. Things slip by them very easily. Marketers say you need to publish your message three times to make it stick.
  • Fourth, the goal is to share the best information not necessarily the newest. Don’t share something you are going to regret later.

I’ve been curating business advice and tips for years. And the feedback I get is about the quality of information and the amount that I find. Being the first or second to share the advice doesn’t seem to be a factor.

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