Content Curation: Are You A Fire Hose or A Focusing Lens? | Beth’s Blog

Content Curation: Are You A Fire Hose or A Focusing Lens?

Content Curation

Flickr Photo by Salendron

Does your nonprofit do content curation as part of its content strategy?  Content curation is the organizing, filtering and “making sense of” information on the web and sharing the very best pieces of content that you’ve cherry picked and shared with your network.   It is a great technique to keep up with your field.  I’ve been teaching content curation workshops this year and will teach it in the Middle East at the E-Mediat conference in March, 2012 (more about that in a later post).

If that headline caught your attention, thank Robin Good, a virtuoso content curator, who will join me remotely from Italy when I do a talk on content curation at the next Social Media 4 Nonprofits Conference in January. Robin re-wrote the headline of this post from Seth Godin called “The Trap of Social Media Noise.”   Good curators are not packrats or aggregators, the pluck out the best and frame it for better understanding.  Part of that might revising a headline, summarize the main points, and relating it back to your point of view.

As Robin points out, Seth is describing something that is hot debate right now in the content curation circles.   Robin frames it like this:

Are we creating and leveraging these tools to regurgitate and spit out more noise, or are we working to build tools and to help others understand the value of distilling and making sense of the information wave surrounding us?

The debate in content curation circles is that we treat content curation as aggregation, then we’ll miss the point and just create noise.  We don’t need  more content, but  a human point of view guided by intelligent tools- that can help others find and make sense of the information and resources out there.

Seth said it like this in his post:

…either be better at pump and dump than anyone else, get your numbers into the millions, outmass those that choose to use mass and always dance at the edge of spam (in which the number of those you offend or turn off forever keep increasing)…

or Relentlessly focus.
Prune your message and your list and build a reputation that’s worth owning and an audience that cares.
Only one of these strategies builds an asset of value.

If your nonprofit is grappling with developing a content strategy and using content curation as a part of the mix,  how will you keep your focus?     For me, it is feeding and tuning the sources and the network, pausing, slowing down, and staying focus on a point of view.

11 Responses

  1. [...] Content #Curation: Are You A Fire Hose or A Focusing Lens? Does your nonprofit do content curation as part of its content strategy?  Content curation is the organizing, filtering and “making sense of” (Content Curation: Are You A Fire Hose or A Focusing Lens? Source: http://www.bethkanter.org [...]

  2. Love the way you’ve framed this. I didn’t realize it, but I’ve been grappling with exactly this. I clearly need to concentrate on being a focusing lens and not a fire hose. A human point of view, guided by intelligent tools… awesome!

  3. [...] jQuery("#errors*").hide(); window.location= data.themeInternalUrl; } }); } http://www.bethkanter.org – December 14, 8:49 [...]

  4. Thanks for this inspirational post, which I’ve just read again. I’d love to be able to be a focusing lense, but I don’t know how to find the content to curate about. Are planning to share some of your tecniques soon? Merry Christmas

  5. [...] Content Curation: Are You A Fire Hose or A Focusing Lens? | Beth’s Blog The debate in content curation circles is that we treat content curation as aggregation, then we’ll miss the point and just create noise. [...]

  6. [...] jQuery("#errors*").hide(); window.location= data.themeInternalUrl; } }); } http://www.bethkanter.org (via @sverjans) – Today, 4:28 [...]

  7. anthony says:

    I really like your view point on curation… I have been researching curation for a while now and I think it the way I want to go I really like your point “The debate in content curation circles is that we treat content curation as aggregation, then we’ll miss the point and just create noise. We don’t need more content, but a human point of view guided by intelligent tools” I really view that curators have to be thought leaders in their industry, with out it curation is useless. I watched this video a day (it was a sales video for a curation wordpress theme but it had a cool way of making sense of curation) ago that explained curation and “curators” like a museum that had been put together by a professional who provided context for each piece …you can check out the video if you like http://curationtraffic.com/ anyway, good insight.. thanks for the article

  8. Beth says:

    Anthony, thanks for sharing the video!

  9. [...] I started to fail — miserably. Instead of being what Beth Kanter likes to talk about as a focusing lens, I was a fire hose. I just spewed out content without any [...]

  10. [...] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } http://www.bethkanter.org – Today, 2:48 [...]

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