Traditionally, the most valued content was original.

This emphasis developed within a content model of constrained distribution and expensive production costs. When there are only a handful of distribution points for content — some magazines, books, a handful of TV station and radio stations — the way to build audience was to deliver original and exclusive content experiences.

The explosion of cable TV expanded a different kind of content model, the Commentary, where original voices offered their perspective on original content created elsewhere. Think of The Daily Show or the Mystery Theater 2000 on the SciFi station.

In today’s world, high quality production is within everyone’s reach and distribution is as easy as uploading a video on YouTube. This content that is being created isn’t bad, either. In fact, there are thousands and thousands of original voices where there were once just a handful.

Into this explosion of information comes the concept of Curation. Long-time tech journalist Paul Gillen weighed in on the value of taking a curatorial approach to content in a post about the Chile earthquake.

No longer is our problem lack of information; it’s that we’re drowning in information. That’s why curation is so important. Trusted curators who point us to the most valuable sources of information for our interests will become the new power brokers.

5B1BE826-C20F-45AE-A6D2-65CD5A0205D6.jpgIn a conversation today with two of our top editors, one shared how popular a weekly round-up of interesting blogs and bloggers in her market had become.   Doing the roundup had created an entirely new energy in her market, with new information sources appearing and more interest developing from her readers.

The blog round-up isn’t original, neither as an idea nor as content.   It is incredibly valuable for an enthusiast who wants to improve their web experience by finding good information about things that are interesting to them.

Gillen points out that the concept of curation shouldn’t be limited to media brands.

Marketers should take this trend into account. Creating new content is important, but an equally valuable service is curating content from other sources. This demands a whole different set of skills as well as a new delivery channel. It also means ditching the “not invented here” mindset that prevents content creators from acknowledging other sources.

Content curators have the task of creating trust and confidence in their social circle through the selection and sharing of quality pieces of content.  The curator needs to be able to grasp what is of interest to their social circle and to evaluate what pieces of content should be shared.

Media brands and marketers have social circles that are already primed to be exposed to high-quality content curation.  The members of these social circles have indicated preference and interest through their interaction with the brand.  Setting a goal of enriching the web experience of your social circle, and asking yourself the question, “Would my social circle find this interesting?,” when you encounter fresh content will help you build your authority and enhance your connectedness with your market.

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