There is a lot of content on the world wide web. After that initial click on a search engine, you are bombarded with news, articles, blogs, images and videos on your chosen topic. You get overwhelmed, as do others, and you begin to sort through all that content to find the best of the best. You become a curator, even if you do not share the content you are still going through the pile with a certain goal in mind.
For curators, searching and finding the material is only half the battle. The other half is arranging all that content to some semblance of organization. Just as there are many different types of content out there, there are just as many different curators and curation tools available. (Read our post: Top 5 Curation Tools For The 5 Curator Types)
To suit the different types of content available on the Internet, each curation tool has a different method of storing content. Depending on what you curate and how you curate, you can determine which organization method is best for you. Here are the tools I’ve used and what content they are most suitable for:
Do you like to read? Do you like to raid the news sites looking for the latest updates? Do you like to scourge the blogosphere looking for the newest trends? Do you find yourself spending half your time opening each of your daily news and blog sites on multiple tabs in your web browser? Only for your web browser to freeze?
If this is you, then you are a reader. You do not regularly share what you read on your social media profiles. You are too immersed in information-gathering to care what others think about what you are reading. In this case, one of the best curation tools for you is: the Google Reader.
Google Reader organizes all your news and blog feeds into one place for your perusal. Simply search for your daily reads under “Browse for stuff,” subscribe to the feeds, and you can start reading! You no longer have to open multiple tabs or windows to get your daily fix.
You’re in a meeting and you’re taking notes on your laptop. You browse the web for some information on the subject matter and hit multiple sites that are helpful, but you don’t have time to read them through. Your manager is hurrying through their presentation and you know that you have a case study coming up on that very topic! You quickly go back to your notes and have a hard time switching back and forth between your document and the web browser. Remember: patience is required.
If you’re a researcher, or even the note taker in meetings, you need a notebook. Not just any notebook, but a notebook that can consolidate all your research - articles, websites and information found on the Internet - and your notes in one place. This is both a curation and productivity tool: Evernote.
Evernote enables you to create multiple “notebooks” to suit your needs. These notebooks contain your typed notes, websites and clipped notes you’ve saved from the Internet. This way, Evernote organizes information for projects you are working on. Better yet, these notebooks can be shared among team members if you’re involved in a group project! Using the notebook method to organizing your content streamline projects and procedures.
Something’s up. You have your fingers on the pulse. There’s a story that’s hitting social media faster than the news sites. You have Twitter, Facebook and Youtube open in three different windows - one next to the other - just so you don’t: Miss. A. Thing. You keep track of all your social media profiles, all your friends’ social media profiles, and all your friends’ friends’ social media profiles - and you only wish that you can consolidate all that information into one place so you can tell the story later.
If you want to tell the story and get all the facts right, you are a storyteller. You like watching things unfold and to read things in chronological order. It’s about the build-up - the plot - the reasoning behind each consecutive action, and you want to be the one to immortalize it. For all the tweets, Facebook updates and YouTube uploads to make sense together, you need: Storify.
Storify allows you to take bits and pieces off of social media profiles - an observation on Twitter, a comment on Facebook, a first-hand account on YouTube - and organize them into chronological order to tell the story of an event or something important to you. Each story is topical and bolstered by multiple clips to give readers a first-hand account to something special.
You have a lot of interests. In fact, you are interested in so many things that starting a blog isn’t feasible because you can’t focus on one subject. You like to search the web for random information, depending on how you’re feeling for the day. Sometimes you’re looking for a cute lampshade, and other times you just like to read up on the latest scientific method for growing beets. You just like a lot of things, and you like sharing a lot of super cool stuff on your social media profiles.
If you are motivated by likes and loves, then you are someone who would do well in curating by topics. This way ensures that what you are sharing is getting to the right audience - others who share the same passions and interests as you! Of course, topics can be organized by different methods also: visually, textually, and communally.
If you’re not one for words, but <3 images, then Pinterest is the one for you! Relying heavily on images that are pinned on virtual boards, Pinterest organizes content in topics. For foodies and fashionistas, Pinterest is best for you.
If you’re not one for images, but [heart] words, then Markerly is the one for you! Although Markerly can curate images as well, there is a fair amount of content that is simply text. Using the Markerly bookmarklet, you can highlight a passage, curate the text, and then share it with readers by topic. These topics range from sports to politics, and entertainment and history.
If you both <3 and [heart] images and texts, then Atomic Reach is the one for you! Like Pinterest, Atomic Reach curates images. Like Markerly, Atomic Reach curates text. Atomic Reach even goes so far as to curate videos and comments too! The only difference is that Atomic Reach organizes content by communities called Tribes. Each Tribe and is a topic, and curators must be approved by the Editor to be included in a Tribe. In these communities, members contribute their own relevant blog posts for readers. If there isn’t a Tribe for you, you can easily start one yourself!
Depending on who you are and what content you’re interested in, the different methods to organizing curated content varies in terms of efficiency, usability and appropriateness. There are many other platforms than the ones I’ve listed and there are many other methods to organizing content, but these are the ones I recommend. If you have other curation tools that would be a perfect addition to this list, please share your thoughts in the comments below.
I’d love to hear from you!