12 Experts Share Top Curation Tips

by PR Coach on October 1, 2013

Six easy steps to curation success

Six easy steps to curation success

Curation is sometimes confusing. Everyone has a different definition and it’s used in many different ways as part of content and marketing strategies.

I asked 11 of my favorite curation experts for their best tips, tools, their favorite curator and suggestions on innovative uses of curation. Each is a curator on Scoop.it, my favorite curation tool and channel. New and experienced curators are going to learn from their advice.

For those of you who haven’t tried Scoop.it yet, check out the ways these experts use it to find, curate, publish and share valuable information. In addition to their tips and curation tool suggestions, you’ll find links to learn from the best.

Just a heads up. Today, you’ll find a brand new, freshly relaunched Scoop.it with a tasty new design, terrific tools, new interest channels and improved search capacity. I’ve previewed it and I guarantee it’s going to make curation and finding expert content faster, smarter and easier. More on Scoop.it and on Twitter at #curatethecurators.

[Editor's note: Simple video summary above produced in less than 20 minutes using Guide - a new text-to-video production tool. It's not perfect yet but you can learn more here.]

12 Experts Share Best Curation Tips

I value each of them for their deep expertise in their areas of interest. Even more so, these curators have an obvious love of curation and a delight that comes from discovery and sharing great content. Most of all, they are very approachable and generous with their advice. Enjoy their insights.

Robin Good

Robin GoodScoop.it Profile (1.1 million views): Robin Good is the global go-to guy when it comes to content curation. His pages on Scoop.it recently passed one million views and there’s a reason. If you’re new to curation, Good is a shining example of how to add value as a curator as well as a source of superb tips, tools and trends. You’ll soon have him on your daily content curation radar like me and many other curators.

Best curation tip:
“What I recommend to anyone approaching new content curation for the first time is to think of it as the art of introducing and illustrating something that is highly relevant to a specific audience. In my view, it’s not about sharing, it’s not about personal expression and it’s not about marketing. It’s about helping your audience discover and understand the relevance (for them) of things of value (people, issues, events, products) that they would have otherwise missed.”

Favorite curation tool: My preferred content discovery app is a toolset made up of Prismatic, Topsy and Tweetdeck.

Favorite Scoop.it resource: Ana Cristina Pratas. She is a treasure trove of useful resources and her talent is in finding lots of potentially good stuff. She doesn’t really curate any of these, but as a source of stuff that can be extremely useful, in the area of learning, publishing, presentation and tools; she is the best I know on Scoop.it. I would like to list Baiba Svenca and Nik Peachey as two good alternative resources.

Interesting curation: Brain Pickings by Maria Popova is such an example. She has such talent in finding and unearthing interesting stuff of all kinds and in publishing them in a format that is highly readable. I this she is definitely unique, creative and very, very knowledgeable person.

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Website, Home: Rome, Italy

Ana Cristina Pratas

Ana Cristina PratasScoop.it Profile (937.8K views): Eclectic hardly seems adequate to describe her curation. An educator and “learner”, Ana Cristina Pratas is literally a delightful curator to follow. She shares her “Digital Delights” on learning and developing creativity, contemporary digital tribes and avatars, virtual worlds and gamification. But don’t hold her to those topics alone. She’ll surprise and delight you every day and you will be glad to follow her.

Best curation tip:

“Curate with your heart and head – in other words, select what is significant to you, what will be useful to you. With time, these selections will become your online library where you can return to when necessary and even revise by either deleting them or keeping them as a relevant article for the moment they were curated. Hopefully they will be of interest to others who share the same interests or profession. There are also moments when, rushed for time, I will include an article so that I may later go back and read it more calmly. Curating with Scoop.it! has become valuable to me because I can regularly return to points of references when necessary. “

Favorite curation tool: I sometimes may use suggestions which appear on Scoop.it! though often it is articles I read or come across online. I tend to read certain blogs and when there is a post which I find of particular interest, I will add it to the curation so that I may find it again easily. 

Favorite Scoop.it resource: Very difficult question as there are such excellent curators! For education, I will certainly turn to Nik Peachey, Ann Foreman and David Mainwood, to name just a few. Angela Dunn is another curator who I follow and always has an interesting selection on Creativity and Innovation.

Interesting curation: There are some excellent sites which curate art and photography (and which I sometimes include in my Digital Delights – Images). Maria Popova’s excellent Brain Pickings Weekly also offers wonderful posts which I sometimes include in Voices in the Feminine – Digital Delights. 

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog Home: United Arab Emirates

Brian Yanish

Brian YanishScoop.it Profile (304.5K views): Brian Yanish is a nerd. He says so himself. And he’s one great nerd to follow. He curates on the marketing revolution, website design, content curation, Scoop.it marketing, mobile web design and his latest project — an outdoor kitchen.

Best curation tip:

“They say “Content is King.” In the curation world your sources become the Queen. Scoop.it allows you to manage content sources where your potential (suggestions) scoops may come from. Making sure you refine your sources is key to helping you find great content to curate. “

Favorite curation tool: My number one content finding tool is my defined Scoop.it managed sources for each topic I curate. Next would be the people I follow on Twitter who share great content. I’ve setup private Twitter subject lists where I place specific Twitter users, and then I watch the content they are tweeting so I can scoop it into one of my topics.

Favorite Scoop.it resource: I follow so many great curators including Marty Smith, Robin Good, Karen Dietz and Jesus Hernandez. One of my favorite Scoop.it pages is the main page where I can see the scoops from people I follow. Which in turn helps me find great content to rescoop into my topics.

Interesting curation: One of the most unique uses of Scoop.it is by Marty Smith and how he uses the power and  community within Scoop.it to build a community of friends and followers for his Cure Cancer Starter support team. 

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog, Website Home: Drumheller, Alberta

Guillaume Decugis

Guillaume DecugisScoop.it Profile (225.2K views): As CEO of Scoop.it, you’d expect Guillaume Decugis to be a passionate curator. But it’s not his shared business curation that gets your attention – curation and the future of publishing, Scoop.it on the web and the Scoop.it team. He curates on a bunch of fun, personal topics too, including online gaming, astronomy, freeride skiing, and gadgets I lust for.

Best curation tip:

“The most helpful to me was to realize that reading was 80% of the work. If I thoroughly read an article or watched a video (meaning I finish it instead of giving up half way), it’s probably a sign I should also share it with some insights on it. Instead of wondering what my blog should be about or lacking inspiration writing, I discovered I could have an impact by curating and sharing the content I already was consuming anyway on the same 4/5 topics. This transformed my content problem into an opportunity. And I believe many professionals are in the same situation: they already read a lot of content on their areas of expertise.”

Favorite curation tool: Well I’m biased but I’ll say Scoop.it ;-) In several ways actually: through the content suggestions of course but now more and more from the Scoop.it curators themselves by following topics that I find relevant, by searching or by using the new interest feature on the iPad or the Web version.

Favorite Scoop.it resource: It’s hard to choose because there are so many amazing curators on Scoop.it but I’d say Entrepreneurship, Innovation by Marylene Delbourg-Delphis who’s an amazing woman (the first to become CEO of a major Silicon Valley company).

Interesting curation: I just love what the team at cancercommons.org do through their Cancer Commons pages on Scoop.it, using cancer research news & knowledge curation to improve the survival chances of patients. On such an important cause, we can all realize how sharing important knowledge better and to the right people really can make a difference – just like it did for Marty Tenenbaum who founded Cancer Commons and survived cancer after having personally gathered a lot of information on his particular cancer, something that proved critical in making the educated guess that saved his life.

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog, Website Home: San Francisco

Giuseppe Mauriello

Giuseppe MaurielloScoop.it Profile (190.3K views): Giuseppe Mauriello is a social media, marketing and sales consultant. He curates news, trends and new tools about content curation, social media and marketing. He’s another great example of how the curator adds value with additional insight and commentary to the articles that he filters and shares.

Best curation tip:

“Filter great stuff, and new people will listen to you. Publish great content, and your listeners will share your story for you! More than ever before: Excellent content is your competitive advantage. Context is king! Curation Time” © Giuseppe Mauriello.”

Favorite curation tool:  My favorite content news discovery tool is Prismatic. In addition, I also use Topsy and Feedly and in the past sometimes I’ve used Trap!t and Bottlenose.

Favorite Scoop.it resource: The master curator is Robin Good on Scoop.it; IMHO, he also one of the best in the world.

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter Home: Naples, Italy

Ally Greer

Ally GreerScoop.it Profile (142.9K views): You’d think that working at the leading curation platform in the world wouldn’t leave much time for being a talented curator. That’s not the case when it comes to Scoop.it Community Manager Ally Greer. Her own curation topics include lots of topics related to her work including curation and the future of publishing, Scoop.it on the web, the Scoop.it team, lean content and social marketing. Her personal topics are fun as well: the best of Buzzfeed, personal branding, resources for professional women, healthy corporate chicks, Green homes, sounds and much more. She shows you just the right approach to mixing curation business and pleasure.

Best curation tip:

“My favorite curation quote comes from Clay Shirky, an NYU Professor and author of Here Comes Everybody. He said, “It’s not information overload, it’s filter failure.” I completely agree with this statement, as I hold the opinion that there isn’t really such a thing as having too much information. If I have a large amount of useful information, it just means that I can continue reading and learning. However, it’s when this information is buried among useless or redundant content that that overwhelming feeling manifests itself. The point of curation isn’t to reduce the amount of information out there; it’s to help the quality information surface. Naturally, it’s not possible for robots to do this on their own, which is why the human touch that curation entails has become so important.”

Favorite curation tool: Of course, I love the Scoop.it Suggestion Engine. I feed it with all of my RSS feeds and searches and find content in the place where I want to publish it. Aside from that, I use social networks to find content – I’m very careful with who I follow and tailor my streams to be filled with content that I think I would be interested in finding.

Favorite Scoop.it resource: My favorite Scoop.it topic page is Ideas for Entrepreneurs by Guillaume Decugis  (and not just because he’s my boss!). Coming from a family of entrepreneurs and working at a startup, I’m extremely interested in the world of entrepreneurship and hearing the different stories of how awesome companies have come to be is super inspiring to me.

Interesting curation: Some of the most creative uses of Scoop.it I’ve seen are Karen Dietz and Brian Yanish (and I’m sure some others) putting email subscription forms on their pages to generate leads – who would’ve thought?! – and Seth Dixon creating a custom textbook for his college class.

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog, Website Home: San Francisco

Marty Smith

Marty SmithScoop.it Profile (100.6K views): Marty Smith is marketing director at Atlantic BT. His background includes traditional brand marketing, several business startups and he is a cancer survivor. He curates on digital and traditional marketing, technology, startups, e-commerce, personal branding, collaboration and cool stuff.

Best curation tip:

“Don’t get stuck in a curation rut. Be open to new sources of information and use meta-search engines like Topsy or, if you can afford it, Radian6. Watch YOUR brands closest, competitor’s brands next and be sure to regularly watch, read and curate industry experts. Don’t be afraid to curate competitive content if it is great, but never snub anyone’s content. Your authority GOES UP when you act less proprietary and more universal.”

Favorite curation tool: Topsy, Flipboard and Zite are my favorite “BIG NET” tools. Twitter, Gplus and Scoop.it are my favorite “SMALL NET” tools.

Favorite Scoop.it resource: Robin Good for tools, Jan Gordon for analysis of latest cool Scoops and Jeff Domansky for PR. Also Brian Yanish is smart and gets it.

Interesting curation: I use Scoop.it as a fast feedback loop. I believe we should curate 90% and create 10%. Curation has more reach and lower cost per unit of work, so it is the “content radar” and this blog post is a perfect example. I got the idea for this post from the reception http://sco.lt/6Kym0X on Scoop.it received. I knew, from that reception, 1,000 words on our Atlantic BT blog would do well (and it did).

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog, Home: Durham, NC

Karen Dietz

Karen DietzScoop.it Profile (101.8K views): Karen Dietz is a business consultant and professionally trained storyteller and the only Phd Folklorist I know. Fortunately, she’s not only a heckuva business storytelling trainer, she’s a wonderful curator on storytelling and personality types @ work. If you’re looking for a good story, you’ll want to start following her.

Best curation tip:

“Write reviews! Let your voice be heard. Help your readers sift through the mountains of information out there, tell them why you selected the article, and what they should pay attention to when reading it. Don’t write a dissertation, just a few sentences. This provides value to your reader, and makes your valuable. If you curate as part of a business/marketing strategy, this builds your business.”

Favorite curation tool: I love Prismatic!

Favorite Scoop.it resource: Robin Good — because I learn so much about curation from him.And I’m fans of Gimli Goose’s (Kim Zinke) on How To Find and Tell Your Story, as well as Gregg Morris‘ Story and Narrative. Baiba Svenca keeps me straight about presentations. And Susan Bainbridge is my go-to gal on Transformational Leadership. Then Marty Smith and Brian Yanish‘s curations help me with marketing and social media along with Jan Gordon.

Interesting curation: Hmmmm — I love street art and really enjoy Kuniko‘s curation World of Street an Outdoor Arts. I also thoroughly enjoy Jane Dunnewold‘s curation on Creative Civilization.

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog, Website Home: San Diego

Gregg Morris

Gregg MorrisScoop.it Profile (64.7K views): Gregg Morris calls himself “a Renaissance man in a niche world.” He curates on narrative, storytelling, writing, customer experience, marketing, PR, sales. The real story to his curation is his skill at finding great storytelling material to share.

Best curation tip:  

“We’re filters for our readers. Always put yourself in their shoes and think about what they will enjoy/learn from most.”

Favorite curation tool:  Still Twitter for me but I am liking Prismatic more and more.

Favorite Scoop.it resource: Karen Dietz for storytelling.

Interesting curation: I don’t know if this falls into one of those buckets but Ally Greer uses Scoop.it as creatively as anyone I’ve seen or read.

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog, Home: Chapel Hill, NC

Jeff Domansky

Jeff DomanskyScoop.it Profile (63.8 K views): Jeff Domansky has a unique view of public relations. “There’s no such thing as digital PR, social PR or traditional PR. There is only PR. Public relations is always evolving from the foundation skills such as research, writing, crisis management, media relations and high-level interpersonal skills. PR professionals need to also embrace emerging skills such as content marketing, blogging and social media.” He curates on public relations, social media, infographics, tools and technology.

Best curation tip:

“My view of curation is simple: Find. Filter. Curate. Create. Add value. Share. Repeat. If you apply this formula, whether it’s business or fun, you’ll have success.”

Favorite curation tool:  Two most valuable tools are Prismatic and Sway

Favorite Scoop.it resource: I have two dozen or so sources I read daily and a Feedly stream with 1500+ sources on 35 or more topics. But I’m a browser. I look for new and unique content in many places.

Interesting curation: In addition to curation, I use Scoop.it as a content search engine. It’s the fastest way to find experts and their up-to-the-minute content. I also have a page for 20-30 jazz and eclectic tunes I’m listening to at the moment. Much easier than sorting through my huge YouTube list for a favorite tune on short notice.

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog, Home: Vancouver, BC

Beth Kanter

Beth KanterScoop.it Profile (61.7K views): Beth Kanter is a consultant, speaker, author and an expert in the nonprofit sector. She has trained thousands of nonprofits around the world in social media, technology, capacity building, evaluation, fundraising and marketing. Her curation reflects her consulting practice and in the nonprofit sector her advice is golden.

Best curation tip:

“To follow the best of the best curators like Robin Good and engage with to learn to improve your practice. Other than that – SLOW down and read and think and provide value.”

Favorite curation tool: I’m so old school. I have a list of core experts that I follow and then follow links and neighborhoods of links to discover more resources.

Favorite Scoop.it resource: Robin Good, Guillaume Decugis and others on my Scoop.it pages

Interesting curation: I use Scoop.it to collect resources for articles or workshop resources (I am a trainer). I use the tag feature a lot too.

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog

Cendrine Marrouat

Cendrine MarraoutScoop.it Profile (21.0K views): Cendrine Marrouat is a digital journalist, blogger, author and content curator. She provides advice on social media for entrepreneurs and small business. Her curation covers social media news, tips and tools; awesomeness and life questions. And if you ever want to carry on a conversation in English, French and Spanish just give her a tweet.

Best curation tip:

“Everyone can share links. But real curation takes a lot more work and dedication. Curate in the same way as you create content. This will force you to think like your audience and in turn, ask yourself the right questions.

Also, be a good social media citizen. Give credit where credit is due. In particular, mention authors on social networks when you share your curations.”

Favorite curation tool: Definitely Swayy. It analyses your social profiles and audience interests to deliver the most relevant content from around the web. I use it daily and always find something worth.

Favorite Scoop.it resource: Robin Good “finds gems and presents them in a way that appeals to all. That’s why he has more than a million page views.”

Interesting curation: I use one of my magazines as a hub for all my articles The Cendrine Marrouat Daily. With email notifications, I know when people leave comments and share my content. So, I can interact with them, build relationships and discover interesting stuff in the process.

Connections: Scoop.it, Twitter, Blog, Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Got a favorite curator, creative curation example on or off Scoop.it? We’d enjoy hearing from you in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, check out the PR Library where you’ll find more storytelling, curation and content marketing resources.

Author: Jeff Domansky

Visual: Illustration by Jeff Domansky; bio photos from Scoop.it