Live from SMX Advanced: Getting Curation Right

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Jun 11, 2013
More Articles by Janet

What is content curation? How can it benefit you as a marketer? This panel sought to answer those questions and featured Brent Csutoras of Kairay Media, Virginia Nussey of Bruce Clay, Inc., and Amy Vernon of Internet Media Labs.

Brent Csutoras

Brent led off the panel and discussed how marketers can use content curation for success. What exactly is content curation? It really comes down to two things: 1) you’re finding the content of others around a particular topic and taking the best of that discussion and channeling it to your own audience or 2) doing the same thing but making that content your own — how you can improve it along with a source link to the original source.

What are the problems with content creation? Most people only do the bare minimum.  Also, many articles are the same. Content curation, then, should be a place for you to get ideas for what you should be writing about. But also, you should be looking to stand out with your content. Try to become the preferred source.

How can you find content to curate? Check:

  • Google Alerts (“best”, “greatest”, “top 10…”)
  • Alltop
  • Topix
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Tumblr
  • RSS feeds

What types of content can you look for or curate?

  • Improved version of the original
  • Share a controversial opinion
  • Lists
  • How to or guides
  • Images/memes
  • Timelines
  • Video
  • And more…

How can you improve on the content? Where you have a quality image that can improve the content or summarize it, add that to the content.  Add video to the story — can you find a video on YouTube that summarizes the story? See if anyone else has written about the same topic and share those in your content. Get new quotes for the piece.

Virginia Nussey

Virginia was next up on the panel and covered how content curation can boost SEO. Content is expensive to create, so how can you use content curation to cut back on expense and time to get great content? There’s also a risk of creating duplicate content when curating, so be careful of that. Make sure your links are to high quality sources, too.

Make sure your content that you add also adds value. Content curation allows you to target the long tail of search too.

How can you use content curation?

  • Live blogging/event coverage

    • Virginia mentioned ScribbleLive as a good live blogging tool.
  • Social reactions
  • Contributor page
  • Storytelling/news reporting

Virginia shared a study where she looked at a piece of content that was duplicated, then a version that used an extra piece, like an image, and then a version that also had original content. The original content gave them a #1 ranking on that piece.

Amy Vernon

Amy wrapped up the panel by sharing tools to streamline the content curation process. I <3 tools.

Curation is setting specific criteria about what you’ll put together and gathering it together then enabling others to see it. It is not aggregation or automation, like

You need the right tool for the right job.

Allows you to develop a list of people based on a topic that you determine. Others can also add to the list. You can choose which submissions to include in the list. It allows you to curate the best of a specific topic and allows others to add their favorites. You can enable voting and embed it into your site. All the links on the list are live which produces SEO value.

Allows you to pull together the best articles around the web on a topic. It’s more like a social curation network and allows you to build pages of topics. The target audience is marketers, entrepreneurs and consultants. It’s a highly educated audience.


A great site for curating content from and curating content on. It skews to a younger audience. It can be a blogging platform and/or a curation platform. It can also live separately from your site and cultivates community. It’s very visual.


It’s extremely visual and a big traffic driver. It enables group curation but you have no control over what others curate onto your group boards. The quality of image matters above all else on Pinterest.


Spundge pulls from different networks like Facebook and YouTube and you can create “notebooks” and pull in content based on keywords you choose.


Storify is similar to Spundge and used to curate events after the fact. It allows you to add a deeper context around the conversation.


Rebelmouse is somewhere between aggregation and curation. You can set very fine filters as to what is put in. You can add in or remove content, but it’s more like an aggregator.

Other tools include Delicious, Pearltrees, Curata, and

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