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Susan Chavez is a blogger for TechSoup's Online Community team.
Technology has made it easier than ever to access a wide
range of information, but what’s the best way to sort through it all? The
best advice is to take a tip from libraries and museums and curate all that
information. Last month, TechSoup and TechSoup Romania's hourlong tweet chat explored content curation and the best tools for it.
Tweet chat participants were in near agreement in their
definition of content curation: judicious selection of information to tell a
story. Curating content requires deciding what to gather, filtering and
organizing information, and finding the common threads to present a story. Sometimes
curation means culling content and making connections not easily seen to
present a unique narrative. Audience matters, and being mindful of what your
community is interested in should inform the curation process. However,
curation is not only about what the audience wants but also about finding content that
would expand the audience’s horizons.
You may already be using content curation tools if you visit the web on a regular basis. The most basic and commonly used tools include
RSS readers, alerts, bookmarking sites, and Twitter lists. The proliferation of
social media has paved the way for newer curation tools, many of which organize and display content like an online newsletter
or magazine with minor feature differences. For example, Summify measures sentiment and a user’s reading
history to highlight content. ScoopIt
selects content according to keywords input by the user but also lets the user
manually add content. Paper.li installs a button on users' web browsers, which they can click when they find content to add
to their newsletter. And Kontribune is
a community newsletter that lets the audience add comments or content.
The content and tools are nothing without the curator. The
curator decides where and how the content is presented. For example, sharing
multimedia content like audio might not present well across some curation
tools; in some cases you may need more than one tool.
Ultimately, choosing the right tool means choosing the tool that helps connect
you with your community. And getting the most out of any tool requires actively
using the tools at your disposal - defining the subject and making adjustments along the way, such as adding new keywords and identifying new
For more information on content curation, consider the
Susan ChavezOnline Community & Social Media Team, TechSoup Global@Susan_Chavez
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
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