Over on AdAge Bob Garfield presents a good overview of the realities and media implications of Curation characterized by a student quoted anonymously in 2008: ““If the news is that important, it will find me.” The post has roots in Bob’s Chaos Scenario and was inspired by a forthcoming book by Steven Rosenbaum, Curation. Nation, How to Win in A World Where Consumers are Creator.
I’d propose that Twitter passed from the banal to the profound in its earliest days as users started curating their lifestream and sharing links. After reading Bob’s review, it’s easy to see how Curation Nation supports the transforming media landscape and his chaos scenarios with another consumer-driven digital dynamic. Harder to spot are the marketing implications. Here are some of my thoughts on Curation for marketers:
- People seek expertise referrals in the “heads” and “long tails” (recipes as head or “best bbq in St Louis” for long-tail example) of passion-based subjects. Curate your brand values, category, pop-cultural overlaps, marketing activity or deeply functional/medicinal/helpful content–the stuff your Ad Agency usually tells you is too small to represent in your communications but which your frontline, FAQs & customer service folks deal with daily–to create the potential for discovery by Search and the SocialGraph. That last point is the financial incentive to Curate, btw.
- Curation is mandatory if you understands the digital dynamic that micro-transactions like curation, ratings, check-ins, etc. create metadata that transforms discovery potential into something more viral, like the most viewed video on YouTube.
- Wondering where to start for functional curation? Check out your Google analytics and in-site search logs for what people seek out around your brand. For more creative curation, consider a shared value like curating around a cause or social mission. For Axe that might be a compendium of links for how to woo the girl. For Method brand it might be around “dirty.”
- Curation is more about will than means. It’s not about the time it takes but the commitment to do so.5) Quick tip: if you’re like most of us and end up with dozens of open browser windows of articles you’re reading or intend to read, use a bookmark system to curate these articles for your future reference as well as for others to find. I use the delicious plug-in to each of my browsers–Chrome, Safari & Firefox to instantly curate an article, using tags and notes to add context around the link.
Summary: curation=relevance to search & socialgraph and it’s easy, cheap, necessary for brands.
Some examples of curation resources I use that marketers could benefit from as well:
- Topic Curation/Bookmarking on Delicious
- Questions Curation & Socialized on Quora
- URL Shortener & Aggregator (see what happens to links you curate) using Bit.ly
- In-line curation of Tweets using Curated.by (beta)
- “Favorites” Curation on Twitter
What Curation resources do you use & why? Comment below. Thanks.