Archives for posts with tag: content curation

With so much content out on the web, the need for curators has never been stronger. Fortunately, a new category of software has emerged to help make the process of curating information easy and fun. Here is part one of my list of some of the best new curation tools out there:

Scoop.it

This website lets you create a magazine like page with content.

You log in, think of a topic, grab your url (www.scoop.it/example) and begin adding article you find using your browsers ‘Scoop’ button.

The website does all the work of making the page look nice, but you can customize the style if you wish.

And, if you looking for help finding content,  Scoop It will give you a list of recommendations for your topic from around the web.

It has all the social media plugin’s you need, a daily email update on both your topic and other topics you follow and an easy way to explore new topics.

Check mine out here about the war on drugs, or this good one on new web tools.

Storify

Storify lets you gather content from a variety of social media platforms and order (and reorder) it all into a single stream.

It is an ideal platform for following a Twitter conversation and quickly pulling out good tweets, adding some comments, and slotting in any relevant media. It is also offers to send a notification to anyone mentioned in the Storify project.

Because of it’s ease of use and clever design, Storify is seeing vast adoption across the web. Popular website ReadWriteWeb use Storify to curate answer to their regular ‘Big Question’ from across Facebook, Twitter and their own comments section. It is also the ideal way to curate an event that has a strong Twitter engagement.

Pearl Tree’s

A Pearl Tree is an attractive and elegant way to display the relations between webpages of content. 

A pearl is an item of web content (YouTube video, webpage etc) which you link to other pearls which contain similar content to create a pearltree.

It’s ideal application would be as a visual guide to a topic, taking people through different networks of thought. For example – this pearltree explores the concept of the virtual currency of BitCoin.

Projeqt

Projeqt seems to be a very polished and stylish way of curating content. It’s functionality is quite basic and works in a similar way to a Powerpoint presentation.

You arrange your content (videos, pictures, text, RSS, Twitter) onto a series of slides and let the user glide through the story.

This platform would be ideal for showcasing a series of pictures with short comments in between. For a good example of the possibilities, check out this example by Brain Pickings.

Pinterest

Pinterest dubs itself as an online pinboard. You pin things you find to your own virtual pinboard page and find other people to connect to with similar interests.

The layout is both simple and appealing. It looks suitable for visual based curation and has seen early adoption within the craft and art worlds.

Promotionally, Pinterest is aimed at the casual user, and not so much the professional curator. Uses include planning a wedding, redecorating your home and sharing recipes.

Redux

I’ve been looking for a service like this for a while! Redux is a curation tool for video. Create your own channel and curate videos around your theme.

The user experience is pretty sleek. After clicking on a channel you are taken straight through to a full screen video with controls to move on to the next one or pause.

As a curator, you can add videos to pre-existing channels or create a channel of your own. The screen for curators isn’t quite as stylish as the viewer screen, but functional enough.

At one end of the spectrum we have the traditional long-form blog, and at the other end we have the microblogging service Twitter. But 2011 will see the advent of an innovative and creative space between the two.

Tumblr is one of a few platforms (along with Posterous) that allows people and companies to play with this creative space. The target user is usually someone that doesn’t feel they can commit to a full blog, but wants the opportunity to do more than the format of Twitter allows.

Part of the power of Tumblr is its ease of use – something that the company takes very seriously. Sign up is easy, and users can post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio – either via email, through the simple dashboard or by using a wide range of browser and mobile app’s. The format allows short, regular updates but can also be used to publish lengthier articles.

Tumblr has a scrapbook feel – you cut and stick things you find around the web without much hassle. It is this scrapbook feel that makes the site great for content curation and has led to its adoption by news media companies. The Atlantic, NewsWeek, The New Yorker and The Economist are among the many organisations using Tumblr to publish links to content, highlight important quotations, display infographics and curate some of the most important and beautiful content from around the web. The ‘feel’ of Tumblr is much less serious than the traditional websites of these companies, and it is this informality that is allowing these media companies to build a friendly social face.

Nowhere is this better demonstrated than by the Al-Jazeera English Tumblr. The news organisation has impressed the world by using the site to publish images, videos and more from the ground during the Egyptian protests. They are using the platform to publish important tweets with contextual information, provide links to important YouTube videos and AudioBoo recordings, and provide short accounts of the most important developments. It is an inspirational and powerful example of how this platform can be used to improve journalistic efforts.

The fashion industry is also getting involved with Tumblr: according to Tumblr CEO David Karp, 180 of the top 1000 Tumblrs are fashion blogs, and these blogs are reblogged more frequently than normal Tumblr posts. As evidence of its commitment to work closer with the fashion community on Tumblr, the company will be sponsoring 20 bloggers to attend New York fashion week.

Fashion brands are increasingly using Tumblr as a way to directly engage with their current and potential customers. Luxurious fashion brands, like Oscar de la Renta, are using Tumblr to become “present and persistent in [the] minds” of the customers who cannot yet afford their products, but could someday soon. Mid-range brands are using Tumblr to create a natural and uncontrived “holistic story” about their brand.

Fashion company Kate Spade has just started its Tumblr account. Digital Marketing Manager Cecilia Liu says:

“People are using and sharing beautiful visuals on Tumblr, posting things they think are inspirational,” she observes. “In that vein, it seems like a really great platform for us to get our voice out there, not just as tweets and text, but through images and color, which is the DNA of the brand”

So, with two important industries capitalising on the benefits of this new digital space, I expect other industries will begin to take notice. I also expect many people who have been put off blogging through the fear of a steep learning curve will embrace the growth of Tumblr, bringing a new crowd into the social media world.

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