Content Curation World
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Content Curation World
What a Content Curator Needs To Know: How, Tools, Issues and Strategy
Curated by Robin Good
Author: Robin Good   Google+
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Content Curation Has Been Hijacked

Content Curation Has Been Hijacked | Content Curation World |
Robin Good's insight:

Many content curation startups, and many of the people using curation tools will probably not like what I have written in this article, but I have a hard time behaving as if I couldn't see a cardboard façade that's been sold for a real destination.

Content Curation has been hijacked and has been sold as a cheap and easy solution for content marketers plagued by the growing problem of getting greater attention from their readers and therefore of how to produce more quality content within tighter and tighter time constraints.

The façade is the promotion of the idea that by "adopting" content curation tools and "techniques" (like picking, selecting and showcasing "best of content" to others) you can actually rapidly gain the same benefits and rewards that true, highly reputable curators and experts in any field have conquered after years of hard work.

Worse yet, if you confront content marketers with the idea that what they are encouraging people to do, does in fact create more "noise" and confusion than we already have, content marketers will counter with statistical data demonstrating that this "curation strategy" does indeed pay off and also within relative short times.

What these people miss to see is that you can't really fake what makes a great curator great. You can pick and post lots of stuff, you can share and report to all the channels you want, but the ability and patience to truly vet, verify, unearth and illustrate why something is of value, is just another thing. And anyone who has eyes and time to check, can easily see that.

Once the early curation fad is gone, and once there are millions more people reposting stuff they haven't even read, those who will have patiently spent this time to truly gather, vet, collect, organize, contextualize and illustrate unique documents, information and resources, will instantly become the go-to reference points in their information niche.

Morale of the story: You can reach the top on mountain Everest step by step as much as someone else can get there by helicopter. Both of you see the same view and stand on the same ground, apparently, but what you can bring back and share with others is immensely greater than what the other guy can.

Content curation startups and content marketers promoting the use of content curation should highlight, model and exemplify what true, value-adding curation is and guide their adopters to create more value rather than more, shortly lived, noise.

Content marketing can only benefit from content curation, once it realizes that curation is not a technique that can be adopted or an add-on. Content curation requires a true interest on the part of the curator to uncover, highlight and contextualize high value resources that would otherwise go unnoticed or unappreciated. Otherwise he is wasting not only his time and ours, but also diluting, often forever, his reputation as a trustable source.

Full article: 

Reading time: 8'

Suggested readings: Content Curation Guide

i.e. Realty's curator insight, March 25, 2014 4:06 PM

Are you creating value or noise?

LennyFromTheBlock's curator insight, June 21, 2020 9:56 PM
I've always wanted to know the difference, if there was any, between content curation and content marketing, and I found it! I found out there is a huge difference between the two and even though they sound like the same things, they are not. This article is such an easy read if you have extra time on your lunch break or on the bus to work! 
Content curation is looked at as easy and effortless but actually is more time consuming because you have to go through site after site, and infographic after infographic to look for the perfect ones for your intended audience.
Amanda Schenk's curator insight, June 22, 2020 10:56 PM
The media industry is just one blurred line. Every subject and specialty overlaps at least a tiny bit with another. However, though content curation and content marketing are frequently seen as synonymous, they are distinctly different. 
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On Content Curation: Jane Hart in Conversation with David Kelly

Robin Good: This is a one-hour recording of a webinar, where Jane Hart interviews David Kelly on curation.

I am reporting about it, because Jane's has lot of visibility and a good reputation, but while there is a lot of good, basic, introductory information about curation in this interview, some of the critical information contained in it, is at best incorrect if not altogether misleading to those seeking to understand the actual differences between the different curation tools presented.

The "expert" guest is David Kelly, a workplace learning enthusiast writing his own blog and sharing interesting info on his Twitter channel. His specialty, is actually collecting and sharing relevant links emerging in the backchannels of key conferences.

While he does a good job of introducing what is curation (tapping fully into Rohit Barghava model but never acknowledging/ or referencing it), the different types of approaches that can be used, and dismantling the myth of "personal curation", he insists on a few of points that, in my humble view, are in need of review. 


1) Know your data sources (not just one though).

Mr Kelly insists that one of the top skills a curator needs to have, is the ability to manage and skillfully use your key data source (in his case Twitter). True. But in reality, any good curator needs to be able to tap and be able to find and retrieve relevant information coming from anywhere. Limiting your source to Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook may actually be very limiting if your goal is to not to curate a "technology platform output", but what people are saying on a specific topic, no matter where they say it. 

b) Everybody can be a curator. By clicking the "Share" button on Facebook makes anyone a curator as much as saving a file in Photoshop makes you a digital artist.  No specific competence needed. As long as the stuff is cool and interesting.

c) Tools. Mr Kelly claims that while Storify, helps you to manually curate stories by picking and selecting individual pieces of information coming from different sources, tools such as and do not provide such ability, as they automatically generate a news-magazine based on criteria you have provided. 

While this is mostly true for, it is definitely not true for, a tool that has no automatic publishing feature (like does) and which requires manual intervention from the user to select, edit and post whichever content items are most relevant to their audience needs. 

Yes, I am an avid user, I am not posting this to defend this platform or to try to make it look better. Storify is a great curation tool indeed, but it has no better research, filtering or aggregation or content curation support than does. technology requires as much human intervention to curate content than Storify does.

May be more. Not less.  

For one, and to meet Mr Kelly on his own grounds, provides a lot more opportunities to source and gather valuable content in its backend than Storify does, providing a richer set of filters and pre-set persistent search engines hooks than Storify does.


Therefore Mr Kelly recommendation of Storify, not only is founded on incorrect information, but it shows that Mr Kelly has clearly never used (beyond using it for news discovery) at least one of the tools he is using to make his evaluations, making his recommendations unreliable (this is how much he has used before evaluating it:

N.B.: I watched this whole video, from beginning to end, twice, to make sure I had not missed anything important. 

For Jane: I would love you to exercise more pro-active curation of your interviewees, as asking questions to someone who may be passionate, but who has a limited experience in a specific area, can instantaneously dent into YOUR credibility and trust by those who know and appreciate you most, even when, most of the information being shared is of value.

I would question how someone who transparently admits not to include any opinion in his curation work can be considered a curator to whom to go and ask for advice.

What selection criteria are you using to elect someone as your guide in a field you do not know well? Which way would it be best to frame an interview like this one without running into the risk of becoming a promoter / supporter for the things being said? (You keep complimenting him, but wouldn't it be better if you acted more like a skeptical investigator rather than as a very accomodating and complacent host?) 

Maybe I would frame this differently, as for example having an open conversation with someone starting to explore this field (given the amount of time he has spent and researched this area by his own admission), and everything said in here could become suddenly fully acceptable. But if you serve this as an "expert" voice to listen to, I have all the right to ask proof for this "experience".

Complacency is not for the curator-publisher of tomorrow. Explorers, questioners, guides, critical commenters are what I need.

I may be a demanding perfections but I think that interviews must maintain a level of critical judgement whereby the answer you receive are not just opportunities to compliment your guests, but also vital spots to ask difficult questions, demand examples and some kind of proof of what is being claimed. 

For David: I actually think you did a great job, as you introduced and well explained some of the basic concepts of curation clearly.

Tools and their use is an area where there is a lot more to explore and I look forward to a more precise re-evaluation of the tools you have selected.

I really have nothing against you, but I feel it is my role to use this space also to be constructively critical of anything that I see could be improved. I probably make more mistakes than you do, and you are welcome anytime to highlight them. 

P.S.: For readers: The overall length of the webinar is one-hour but there are only a few slides to see. You are not going to miss much if you just listen to it.

Some good things tainted by some incorrect information. Opportunity to reflect on those curating curators. (A little bug can rot a great apple.)



Reference post:  

Robin Good's comment, June 25, 2012 8:27 AM
Thank you Terry for reporting this: "the video is now private"

What do you make of it?

Do you think it would have been better for the authors to provide a feedback or a comment to these issues rather than closing down the video for everyone?

In a situation like this, what is more appropriate to do, in your view?
Take down the material that may have some disputable parts, or discuss openly the issues with everyone while fully acknowledging possible overlooks and mistakes?

Terry Elliott's comment, June 25, 2012 8:45 AM
Robin, I actually went to Jane Hart's Social Learning Centre site ( and registered thinking that I had to be a member-still private. Then I joined the group that was based upon the webinar ( No joy--still private. I left a comment on the video asking for help, but it has only been a short while.

I suppose what anyone makes of it depends upon how much slack is deserved. Jane Hart has been a serious asset in my search for answers to social media questions especially lately with her work at Internet Time Alliance, but...

1. Perhaps they realized that the webinar was a bit off the cuff. Half-baked might be less charitable, but I don't know because it's PRIVATE. I cannot make my own judgment and that is not good.

2. It might be painful, but sunlight is always best in public conversation. I would not take down the disputed parts but rather view them as starting points for another webinar

3. Don't you think they are missing a wonderful opportunity to drive traffic to their site? I do. It isn't too late. I would love to follow that, perhaps a Hangout on Air? I am working with a study group on P2PU that will open a discussion of curation for the National Writing Project's Digital Is network that is considering some of what you have already spoken to ( Our goal is teacher-centered curation and I know my teaching fellows would value this conversation. Hell, we might just have it ourselves.

I don't think you are wrong in your critique but without a public conversation we will never really know for certain, will we. Perhaps it would be a dialectic and a grander truth than yours or Kelly's would evolve from it.
Robin Good's comment, June 25, 2012 9:03 AM
Terry, I couldn't agree more with your excellent comments and thoughts.

I second them all and you have all of my support in promoting them.

Thank you.
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Warning: Content Curation Is Not About Finding and Republishing Other People Content "As Is"

Warning: Content Curation Is Not About Finding and Republishing Other People Content "As Is" | Content Curation World |
Robin Good's insight:

When you see someone re-posting "unedited and uncommented" 20 news stories to, Twitter and Facebook within the arc of just 60 minutes, and you see thousands of daily visitors checking  that account, you start wondering, whether content curation is just a fad, a buzzword to sell more of the same, or whether those doing this have any idea that they are digging their own credibility grave too deep and early.

Excerpted from Business2Community: "Having a frequently updated Twitter stream filled with interesting, engaging content from obscure sources that you contextualize is content curation, right? Not so fast.

A curator isn’t just someone who can find great “stuff,” though it is an important skill.

A curator is someone who creates a specific experience using found objects and contextualizes those objects within a limited space. A curator not only collects and interprets, but houses that work to create unique experiences."

*Added to What Is Content Curation: Definition collection.

Erica Ayotte writes about the growing friction between shallow content marketing practices sold as content curation (automated republishing of content across diverse social media channels), and what it really takes to stand out and provide a useful information service.

She writes: "Digital content curation is definitely NOT automation and it’s not mindlessly reposting already popular content.


What digital curation does include is hand selecting great content and often commenting or otherwise providing context or a unique perspective to accompany a piece of content.


The Internet is a big place And those who point us in the right any direction are becoming increasingly valuable.

By making the Internet smaller, focusing our attention, providing context, and creating relevant experiences, curators actually enhance our online experiences.

Let’s hold curation up to the standard that it deserves and stop pretending that interesting tweets = content curation.

This process takes time, skill, and creativity that should be recognized.

Rightful. 8/10

Full article:

trendspotter's comment, August 14, 2013 12:45 PM
Thanks! You mean collaborating on or on Flipboard? (it's possible there)

Maybe we can collaborate on a "apps" channel. But I really don't have much time and I wouldn't have the time to write such great insightful comments as you write all the time :( But I'm interested in working with you on a channel.
Robin Good's comment, August 14, 2013 12:57 PM
Cristoph, thanks for your prompt and generous response. I meant only to congratulate you. (By the way: also allows to invite contributors to a channel).
Anabela Santos's comment, September 3, 2013 3:05 PM
So true!