There's been a number of topics related to content curation this week, and I thought I'd write this post that summarizes them and looks at the bigger picture.
My monthly column on Neal Schaffer's Windmill Networking blog explained what content curation is, and how it can be used to lead social conversations and boost marketing efforts. Curation does this by opening the floodgates of great content, making it easier to keep your social media channels brimming with timely and relevant info.
Neal followed up my post with his own, which offered great tips for taking content curation to the next level,
Overcoming Challenges and Concerns
One thing that I did not mention in my post is that there are some concerns and misunderstanding about content curation.
Much of the concern centers around the fact that it necessarily involves the use of third party content to achieve your goals. There are potential legal and copyright issues, and some just think it is wrong to do this regardless of the legalities.
This type of concern was thrust into the limelight recenlty when some pointed out that there are copyright issues related to how people use Pinterest, whiich is essentially a curation platform.. These stories have started to take some of the air out of all the buzz that the service has been getting.
Windmill Networking legal blogger Michelle Sherman posted earlier this week about how to reduce the risk of legal issues related to Pinterest.
While Pinterest is all about images, much of the controversy over curation relates to news articles. E.g. the cleverly titled post Aggregator's Dilemma on Poynter starts off by asking:
When you aggregate content, what obligation do you have to the original source — and to readers?
It goes on to explore the question in detail, and shares best practices and answers from a range of editors of websites that employ aggregation.
Carr wrote, in his Media Equation column:
So where is the line between promoting the good work of others and simply lifting it? Naughty aggregation is analogous to pornography: You know it when you see it.
Some might conclude that curation is the last bastion of the unoriginal and lazy social media striver. As the referenced articles above point out, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about curation; the lines may not always be clear when good curation crosses over and becomes poaching. But standards and best practices are now emerging.
Note: It may seem like I strayed from the original topic in discussing issues related to journalism and aggregation, rather than curation and social media. The topic led me to wonder about the difference between the two: aggregation vs. curation, that is, as they seem to be almost interchangeable. I did a search and found out that there is a difference. Here is the best explanation I could find, via Idealog.