This article is a reply to the article ‘Why Curated Content on Your Website is an Ineffective Waste of Time‘ by Marcus Sheridan on TheSalesLion.com.
“But when your website consists mainly of articles from other sites, how in the world will that establish YOUR company as the trusted and expert voice at what you do? How will it generate leads? How will it help you earn new customers?” — Marcus Sheridan
I agree that just adding content created by someone else to your own website doesn’t add value for your customers. Though I do think that curating content online brings a lot of value when it’s done properly. The scope of Marcus’ definition of content curation in his post is a bit limited in my opinion.
A search engine, like Google, by definition is a content curator. A newspaper, at its core, is a content curator as well. These two examples are just a selection of proven business models that bring value to its users based on content curation.
The difference between these two models is that the first one, Google, is curating content (semi-)automatically. It’s based on the concept of one website linking to another website, indicating that the first website curates the second website as a website that brings value to the first website’s customers. Based on this concept (without categorization), semi-automatic curation is achieved. The curation is done by algorithms, while the linking between websites itself is human curation, since websites are maintained mostly by people. A newspaper on the other hand is based on manual curation only, since a human selects content he or she thinks brings value to their customers and reports about just that content.
Your brain is curating the flood of information you receive all the time, every day, every hour. Your own opinion and knowledge is an aggregated and curated result based on this continuous stream of information that’s being processed in your brain. Online, as well as offline, people like to rely on expert knowledge. If your friend, who is an expert on, for example, washing machines tells you which websites you should visit for the best information, while Google gives you a different list of websites to visit, who do you trust?
At ZEEF.com, we believe crowdsourced content curation by passionate experts is the future of finding quality information online and supporting a consumer in his or her decision making process. By ranking and categorizing links to the best content online at ZEEF, you are giving your opinion about content instead of just plain re-publishing content. As a company or blog, you can never cover every aspect of a subject yourself, but by curating content on other blogs you add additional value for your customers even when you can’t provide the content yourself at that time. This will help grow your authority on a subject, by curating content that was created by other people and not by just creating your own content.
Categorized link blocks on ZEEF can be embedded on your own blog as well, like AdSense blocks, but with much more value and relevance than AdSense does. ZEEF link blocks contain hand-picked and ranked links. Selecting blocks of links on ZEEF for your own blog is a form of content curation as well.
If you’d like to read more about content curation, check out these great resources as well:
- “Content Curation Primer” — Beth Kanter
- “Content Curation: Why Is The Content Curator The Key Emerging Online Editorial Role Of The Future?” — Robin Good & Rohit Bhargava
- “What is Content Curation? And how it’s useful to you and your network.” — Michiel Gaasterland
- “Content Curation World” — Robin Good, MasterNewMedia.org