The Art of Content Curation

2 min read

Content curation has become a standard model for distributing content on digital media. It gives users a variety of different subjects and sources to choose from so that they get multiple perspectives all in one location.

You see it in your daily media consumption. Any social media feed is a giant curation of user-generated content, articles and videos from established media sources, all covering a wide range of your personal interests. You can scroll through the feed and choose, essentially a la carte style, which content you feel like consuming at that given moment.

It’s About Organizing Personalized Content

Bleacher Report and Business Insider are two digital media entities that heavily leaned on content aggregation to help build their businesses into legitimate players. While both companies had a larger emphasis on the strategy in their early days, they now employ a mixture of curation and original content.
Bryan Goldberg, co-founder of Bleacher Report and CEO of Bustle, explained that curation gives organization to a massive amount of choices. “People just didn’t get it,” he said. “They didn’t understand the power of curation. They didn’t understand that, in an era of so much content that needs to be organized, curation was as critical a part of the media value proposition as the writing itself.” Furthermore, current CEO Dave Finnocchio mentions that the traditional media models were leaving “pretty significant supply and demand inefficiencies around sports content.”
Business Insider uses content curation to “best service the interest of each individual user.” This type of personalization is taken to a whole new level through “an onsite recommendation engine that reaches across various sections of the news site to deliver the most relevant information to each reader.”
To drive home the point even further, this article from Psychology Today elaborates on how this strategy saves users valuable time and resources:

“There’s so much coming at us so quickly that if we undertook to read just the first few sentences of everything in an effort to decide whether it was worth it to read the rest, that alone would take us from morning to night.”

You see, there’s a massive abundance of articles and videos to choose from, thus curation gives a way to easily find what pertains to our interests even more.
Jason Hirschhorn, former executive at Viacom and Myspace, built MediaREDEF on the philosophy of content curation by building “mixes” by certain interests, which contain the best content (usually long form) on the web. REDEF has become a go-to source to find invaluable content in media, sports, tech, pop culture, music and fashion for a wide range of influential people. It has done this through expert curation that its audience actually wants. 
Content curation has become a standard model for distributing content on digital media.Click To Tweet
As mentioned earlier, social media news feeds are built on this philosophy and we all know how successful and addicting these platforms have become. As Time mentions, Facebook’s news feed is “fueled by automated software that tracks each user’s actions to serve them the posts they’re most likely to engage with.”
A slew of media companies have proved that curation provides a better experience because of one essential concept: organization of content that we’re interested in. It’s simple in theory, but complex in practice. Though, as the old adage goes, give the customer what they want. If you’re in the media publishing business, then it may be time to figure out a way to sift through large swaths of content and give the user the content they are actually looking for.

“Philosophy matters. Diversity matters. Twitter is the WSJ gists in the digital age.” #opinions / SML.20130117.SC.NET.Twitter.seeminglee.lists.philosophy by See-ming Lee is licensed under Attribution License

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