It's Overwhelming!





The concept of content curation has been on my mind a lot this week.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it is the process of identifying, organizing and sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific topic or issue online. Content curation can be a very valuable activity in your business, as it can make you a recognized and trusted resource for pertinent news and important information…and it can keep you continually visible to your audience.

The trending of content curation as a “hot topic” has really taken off in the last few years, which is not a surprise as the pace of data and content creation is expanding exponentially each year. In fact, back in 2010 Nielsen and AOL estimated that 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day.  You can bet that number has gone up since then. Talk about drinking from a fire hose of information!

In fact, many marketers are using content curation as a key component of their content marketing strategy, according to Curata’s 2012 Content Curation Adoption Survey, with 95 percent of respondents indicating they have curated content in the past six months. In my company, content curation comes up a lot, because we strive to be a recognized and trusted resource for news and information in the various industries we serve and curation is certainly part of our strategy.

With many of us in a state of overwhelm with the amount of market research knowledge that’s out there, it’s no surprise that many of us have turned to content curators (our trusted friends, industry leaders, and great research thinkers) as we’re all in need of someone to curate the wealth of content that’s out there for us. As Kelley mentioned in her recent blog post here,” Developments in our industry and technology are moving so fast, it's hard to keep up.“ That’s why we select who we follow on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with care, subscribe to specific industry journals and Paper.Lis, add specific blogs to our reader, etc. Those sources are curating content for us.

But we also need to cultivate the skill of being curators ourselves.

Why?

Because essentially we are research content (and data) curators for our customers, and we need to be good ones. If you think about it, presenting our clients with ALL of the data from a study in raw format would be like asking them to drink from that fire hose previously mentioned! Even a 25-question survey with 500 respondents is a lot of raw data for them to look at.

We need to be good curators, identifying, organizing and sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific topic or issue, by teasing out insights, knowing how to find the story in the data, removing our bias and personal filters, and by knowing who you’re curating the data for (your audience) and what data and delivery method will resonate most.

The pace of online content sharing and data creation is only going to increase over time, so curation (both employing it and learning it) is an important skill to master!