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The Right Way and Wrong Way to Curate Content

Back in the good ole days things were a lot simpler then. You never heard of the term Content Curation and it was just splogs and cheating a-listers that we had to worry about.

But now there are dozens of social media sites making entry-level “blogging” even easier, and things are getting a little more complicated.

Apparently there are a lot of people who don’t understand the difference between content aggregation and content curation.

A recent Twitter exchange inspired me to write this post, so I thought I would attempt to explain the right and wrong way to curate” content in as simple terms as possible (because apparently they still don’t get it).

I said “apparently”…

The BLOGBloke KISS Guide to Content Curation:

The Right Way to Curate Content:

  1. Making intelligent comments on something that interests you.
  2. Referencing a portion of an article is Ok so long as it is indented within quotes (like here) and has context to what YOU have to say.
  3. Providing of course that you do have something intelligent to add to the content you quoted.
  4. And of course you also include a link to the “curated” content.

So go ahead and use that blockquote thing because that’s what it’s there for. This is nothing new and we’ve been doing it ever since the beginning of blogs. It’s also why we invented hyperlinks and trackbacks to give credit where credit is due.

But when the spin doctors try to give it a new name my BS detector immediately goes off. Beep, beep, beep (there it goes again)…

The Wrong Way to Curate Content:

  1. Duplicating content in it’s entirety is generally frowned on (news items may be exempt providing that you are in compliance with their copyright terms).
  2. Duplicating content for the purpose of leveraging readers and authority from the original content creators, and/or gaming the SERPS with linkbait titles and keywords to get a better position in the search engines.
  3. I would be willing to bet many “Content Curators” fall into this category and the reason why it is so controversial.
  4. Not linking to the original source that you have “curated” content from is another dead give away. However there are lots of unethical content curators who do link but it is still not done correctly (see above).

So there should be no more misunderstanding now. Right?

You know who they are … even a-listers who habitually “bounce off” (as Darren Rowse likes to put it) other blogger’s intellectual property without linking. I know this from personal experience because he has done it to yours truly on many occasion.

Rogue “content curators” who do not follow the rules are intellectual property (content) thieves any way you look at it.

But things have gotten way out of control with social media adding to the mix. Nowadays we have our tweets or facebook comments auto-imported into the myriad of social media sites out there.

Say Hello to the New Online Recycle Bins: 

There are literally dozens of these online recycle bins (blogs, directories, social networks, micro blogs, social bookmarks etc.) that are duping the same content, and the “content curators” excuse this behavior as helping us to be seen.

Or like one reader tweeted:

“Is all of your audience in one place? If not, do you expect them all to go to the same place to read your content?

Well, um … yes actually. All a reader needs to do is visit here or subscribe to my RSS or Twitter and they can find all of my stuff. Easy peasy. There’s no need for a dozen different locations on the web, just like I don’t need dozens of URLs either.

All that it accomplishes is diluting my blog authority and confuse my readers. I need that like a hole in the head, and so do my readers.

So pardon me if I don’t buy into it because I always thought that’s what search engines are for. Please excuse my ignorance but I guess I’m just old school.

It sounds a lot like Facebook trying to create an intranet within the internet .. doesn’t it? The blog networks have become nothing more than glorified link farms.

With all due respect the myriad of social media sites has only served to duplicate even more recycled content all over the web. The great echo chamber so to speak.

Or should I say Social Media has become the Great Content Curator in the cloud.

Am I the only one who thinks this is crazy? I feel like a dog chasing it’s tail going round, and round, and round … and if that’s what social media is all about then you can count me out. I went online to get away from those old recycled TV shows and advertisements, and apparently nothing much has changed on the web either.

At least with blogging there’s an intellectual challenge and opportunity for personal growth. You need to be able to write half decent and have some rudimentary coding skills to go along with it.

But social media has become the playground of marketer plagiarizers, brain-dead gossipers, opportunist social climbers and capricious barfiles duplicating content to dozens of these online recycle bins.

When will all this nonsense end? Today we have dozens of online recycle bins. Tomorrow it could be in the hundreds. So do we really need more BS “curators duping content all over the web? (That’s a rhetorical question).

I’m looking at the image above and chuckling to myself. What “value” are they talking about? Value for the original content creator, or value for the content “curator”? I think we all know the answer to that one.

Even if “content curators” link back, there’s a fine line between trackback spam and “curated” spam. Crappy backlinks are still just “crap” .. isn’t it. Just sayin’.

It’s gotten way out of control and we need to get rid of the online recycle bin paradigm and make things simpler again. Like getting back to basics and developing our blogs.

Is “content curation” just a lame excuse for making a name for themselves or a fast buck off the sweat equity of original content creators?

You tell me.

Whatever happened to creative thinking?

Of course that’s just my humble opinion. How about you?

Written July 16th, 2010 by | 37 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips, Featured Tips, Social Media Tips, Writing Blog Content , , , ,

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There are 37 Comments so far to “The Right Way and Wrong Way to Curate Content”

  1. Agreed, if you were to put all your blog info on every single social site out there then what’s keeping people coming back here where you know your info isn’t going to get shared with someone else’s name on it. I get your rss emailed to me so I know when you post again.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 1:57 am said...

    @Whyite, makes sense to me :-)

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  2. Calling all Blokesters! I need your opinions please http://www.blogbloke.com/content-curatio...

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    Reply by: Whyite at 6:18 am said...

    @BLOGBlokeTips Nice

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    Reply by: BLOGBlokeTips at 6:58 am said...

    @Whyite .. did you leave a comment?

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    Reply by: Whyite at 7:15 am said...

    @BLOGBlokeTips No I didnt I thought it was a post you made some time ago. I guess I didnt really read it. Sorry will after ubuntu installs

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    Reply by: BLOGBlokeTips at 7:51 am said...

    @Whyite .. thanks buddy!

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  3. Every time I set up a new “site” like Posterous or Amplify, I ask myself, “why the heck are you doing this?” It’s becoming a race - who can put their content and links in the most places the fastest!

    I’ll remind myself of this post next time, because I too think it’s kind of lazy and pointless. I expect people to read my writing at my blog just as much as you do.

    Cheers,
    Tia

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 1:55 am said...

    @Tia, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only blogger with common sense out there. Thanks for dropping by Tia and cheers to you too.

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    Reply by: Jaffer at 6:35 am said...

    Tia & BlogBloke: Posterous came to my mind when I was reading this post - because of it’s prominent “Autopost” feature.

    Autoposting actually becoming a problem - rather because Google picks them up all !

    Therefore I’ve hidden most services I can from Google by setting them private - but I still sign up for new services - Why ? I want to claim my username - just in case it goes big.

    If you must use a new service - atleast add different content there. For example - keep your main blog where it is and use Tumblr as a sideblog - ie for posts that won’t go on your main blog.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 2:00 pm said...

    @Jaffer, That’s what I do. I register my name and I might have an about page referring back to this blog. I use Amplify as a clipping service for in between when Twitter’s 140 characters aren’t enough and avoid duping content.

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  4. @BLOGBlokeTips Hey! Tia is really me, @bizchickblogs. :) No idea who @ Tia is.

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    Reply by: BLOGBlokeTips at 2:00 am said...

    @bizchickblogs K!

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  5. Good day I was fortunate to seek your subject in yahoo
    your topic is fine
    I get a lot in your topic really thank your very much
    btw the theme of you blog is really brilliant
    where can find it

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  6. Superb blog post, I have bookmarked this so hopefully I’ll see more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

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  7. I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time and work.

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  8. hi there,
    quite an intersting topic and really intersted pls can any body tell what could be the best software or pluggins for curating

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  9. […] The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Curate Content […]

  10. New Post: The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Curate Content http://bit.ly/99mBpW

  11. […] Content Curation: There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Curate Content blogbloke.com/content-curation-right-wrong-way/ – view page – cached Back in the good ole days things were a lot simpler then. You never heard of the term Content Curation and it was just splogs and cheating a-listers that we had Tweets about this link […]

  12. NEW POST: Content Curation: There's a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Curate Content http://bit.ly/dk5Kfs

  13. Calling all Blokesters! I need your opinions please http://bit.ly/dk5Kfs

  14. I've been busy (and naughty again). Hope you will check it out http://bit.ly/azOrxD .. http://bit.ly/dk5Kfs

  15. @Tia, it's nice to know that I'm not the only blogger with common sense out there. Thanks for dropping by Tia and c… http://bit.ly/9JaJqT

  16. @Whyite, makes sense to me :-) http://bit.ly/9JaJqT

  17. @Jaffer, That's what I do. I register my name and I might have an about page referring back to this blog. I use Amp… http://bit.ly/9JaJqT

  18. @maniar That's what I do. I register my name and I might have an about page referring back to this blog. I use Amp… http://bit.ly/9JaJqT

  19. […] Content curation is finding, filtering, organizing and sharing relevant content from many sources for your readers so you make it easier for them to get the information they need without doing the work. If you do this well in addition to writing your own, you become a valuable resource for your prospects and clients and keep them listening to what you have to say. The social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, make most of us curators in some respect. If we read something we feel is interesting to our audiences, these tools make it easy to share this knowledge to others. […]

  20. RESOLVED: Why Content Curation is BS http://bit.ly/aKr4l5 There's a Right Way to Curate Content http://bit.ly/aKNNOT @douglaskarr @dsearls

  21. RT @BLOGBlokeTips: RESOLVED: Why Content Curation is BS http://bit.ly/aKr4l5 There's a Right Way to Curate Content http://bit.ly/aKNNOT

  22. @my3boybarians I really like the curation guidelines @BLOGBroke talks about here. http://ow.ly/5FGzt #blogchat #savvyblogging

  23. The Right Way and Wrong Way to Curate Content http://ow.ly/5FQpp

  24. The right way and wrong way to curate content, http://t.co/imjdhmus, #NewhouseSM4 #curation101

  25. […] Back in the good ole days things were a lot simpler then. You never heard of the term Content Curation and it was just splogs and cheating a-listers that we had to worry about. But now there are dozens of social media sites making entry-level “blogging” even easier, and things are getting a little more complicated. Apparently there are a lot of people don’t understand the difference between content aggregation and content curation . A recent Twitter exchange inspired me to write this post, so I thought I would attempt to explain the right and wrong way to “ curate ” content in as simple terms as possible (because apparently they still don’t get it). I said “apparently”… The BLOGBloke KISS Guide to Content Curation : The Right Way to Curate Content: Making intelligent comments on something that interests you. Referencing a portion of an article is Ok so long as it is indented within quotes (like here) and has context to what YOU have to say. Providing of course that you do have something intelligent to add to the content you quoted. And of course you also include a link to the “ curated ” content. So go ahead and use that blockquote thing because that’s what it’s there for. This is nothing new and we’ve been doing it ever since the beginning of blogs. It’s also why we invented hyperlinks and trackbacks to give credit where credit is due. But when the spin doctors try to give it a new name my BS detector immediately goes off. Beep, beep, beep (there it goes again)… The Wrong Way to Curate Content: Duplicating content in it’s entirety is generally frowned on (news items may be exempt providing that you are in compliance with their copyright terms). Duplicating content for the purpose of leveraging readers and authority from the original content creators, and/or gaming the SERPS with linkbait titles and keywords to get a better position in the search engines. I would be willing to bet many “Content Curators” fall into this category and the reason why it is so controversial. Not linking to the original source that you have “ curated ” content from is another dead give away. However there are lots of unethical content curators who do link but it is still not done correctly (see above). So there should be no more misunderstanding now. Right? View Full Article… http://www.blogbloke.com […]

  26. […] questions flash before your eyes when you are forced to “curate”. What is it any ways? This article written for Blog Bloke speaks OUR language. 2. […]

  27. […] The Right Way and Wrong Way to Curate Content by Blog Bloke (@BLOGBloke) […]

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