Most so-called content curation tools out there are really just content aggregators. This may sound nitpicking, but there’s a legitimate difference between the two forms of content marketing.
Content aggregators compile news sources into one place. You can then select particular news or information to share with your network on Facebook, Twitter, etc. That’s awesome and all, but it’s just the first baby step towards content curation.
If the aggregated content is not organized in a coherent flow and/or annotated with new insights, you’re really just a re-sharer. Not that there’s anything bad about being a re-sharer, if it’s done right. But if it’s done wrong, with content blindly shared without a clear direction or focus, it’s not adding value. It’s adding noise.
Content Curation = Content Aggregation + Content Publishing Capabilities
While many aggregation services have already been made available for free in the market, very few has provided an efficient publishing capabilities. However, below few content publishing platforms come close to embodying the ideals of content curation:
1. Scoop.it. Scoop.it is well-supported with information search capabilities, social media sharing and comment interactivity. It also allows you to organize posts and make annotations. By far the best free tool right now, although I think the interface design can be a little more aesthetically appealing.
2. Pinterest. Between the two tools, Pinterest wins the battle of user base. It’s been in the market for quite some time and will certainly helps a lot in driving eyeballs into your content. The limitation is, despite recent attempts to venture into article pins, Pinterest is still largely a visual media. It’s good for visual storytelling and engaging infographics, but not so much for in-depth reading yet.
3. Twylah. Good for those really time-poor ones. Twylah takes some of your most recent trending tweets and put them into approx. 10 different pre-selected categories. It’s automated nature and lack of sophisticated content organization doesn’t make it true content curation, but it’s as best as it can get when it comes to robo-curation. It also helps to identify key topics that you haven’t tweeted in a while, which one builds more resonance, etc, so it’s really good to help you build thought leadership. Downside? It doesn’t seem to be updated regularly, especially if you haven’t logged in to their service in quite some time.
Hopefully, as the market matures, an end-to-end tool that combines the best aggregation tools and above publishing platforms will finally emerge. In the meantime, you can utilize multiple tools that best suit your needs.
Any other useful tools that I’ve missed? Let me know.