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Why Content Curation is BS (or at least overrated)

When I see internet marketers pushing “content curation” my BS meter automatically goes off. Beep .. beep .. beep!

Today is no exception.

When I first heard of the term “content curation” it was from internet marketers. I immediately thought of content scrapers, plagiarizers, list makers and the like trying to game Google to get a better position in the SERPS, increase traffic, build authority and to ultimately make money.

Content Thieves

Nothing that I’ve read since has changed my mind.

Let’s be honest .. that’s the name of the game isn’t it? Getting more traffic from the search engines, blogging friends or the a-listers that we suck up to.

After all, why else would the marketers be pushing “content curation” so hard. For fun? (That’s a rhetorical question).

The term “Content Curation” is being promoted by internet marketers to justify content theft. Their feeble remarks are used in a very narrow context and don’t take into consideration the rampant list makers, plagiarizers and copyright infringers who are abusing OPC (other people’s content) to rank well in the SERPS.

If someone changes my words a little (paraphrasing) to obfuscate their crime (which happens often), or even if they link directly to my article and rank better in Google than me (which is why they do it) — why on earth could you possibly think I would be happy with that?

Of course if someone wants to quote me and intelligently discuss what I’ve written (and link to me) .. that is a completely different matter. But just making lists and/or copying and pasting is complete and utter BS.

It is wide open to abuse and “content curation” unfortunately opens that door. You would never get away with that in the printed literary world so why should blogging be any different.

It is my intellectual property that is being ripped off and it is for this reason I can never condone so-called “content curation”. It is a lazy person’s way to write content, build so-called authority and rank well with the search engines.

My advice is internet marketers should use their brains to come up with something original to write or go find another hobby. BUT please leave my/our content alone!

I can’t stop the content curators but they certainly won’t gain my respect, and I will be in their face .. count on it.

Content curation is just a fancy term the marketers came up with to obfuscate the fact that it’s another way to game the search engines, build authority and to make money.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about news aggregation here. Newspaper clipping services of course do it all the time and there’s no harm or foul there.

What I am talking about is stealing, ripping off the intellectual property of another writer for profit. A simple analogy might be the difference between quoting news copy as opposed to editorial content.

As an ex-journalist I can tell you there’s a HUGE difference between news aggregation and “content curation“.

We are bloggers, which also means we are writers. We need to have some boundaries when it comes to making money. Don’t we?

Am I right?
Stop Stealing ContentFunny how we used to revile “content scrapers”. Now they’ve polished it up into a business and given it a new name to make it legit.

But there’s a huge difference between “content curation” the marketers talk about than just adding to the conversation (without an ulterior motive) don’t you think (another rhetorical question).

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about curating content:

The act of curating, of organizing and maintaining a collection of artworks or artifacts; The act of curing or healing; The manual updating of information in a database
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/curation

Digital curation is the selection, preservation, maintenance, and collection and archiving of digital assets.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_curation

Seems to me that’s what Googlebot already does. Surely we don’t need any more help from the internet marketers (yes … another rhetorical question).

I can think of better, more ethical ways to get traffic than leveraging off of someone else’s sweat equity.

Like say, for example … writing great, original content? Now there’s a thought.

Just sayin…

P.s.: Within the first 24 hours since publishing this post I have been targeted by dozens of splogs scraping content from here. Thanks for proving my point assholes.

Written June 23rd, 2010 by | 66 Comments | Filed under: Blog Ethics, Blog Tips, Featured Tips, Make Money Tips, MythBusters, SEO Tips , , , , , ,

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There are 66 Comments so far to “Why Content Curation is BS (or at least overrated)”

  1. Call it what they will, its stealing. Just because Google indexes it doesn’t make it okay.

    I really like the background of your blog. Nice!!!

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 9:26 am said...

    @Curtis, thanks buddy. Now watch them copy that too. ;-)

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    Reply by: Curtis at 2:42 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, Yep! They just might.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 3:40 pm said...

    @Curtis .. might?

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    Reply by: Curtis at 2:07 am said...

    @BLOGBloke, Copy what I said in the first comment. They just might copy it.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 2:18 am said...

    @Curtis, copy that :-)

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    Reply by: roezer at 4:56 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, I have seen copies of comments on my blog taken from time to time.Then there is also these splogs that scrape sites like Yahoo Answers I am not sure if they ever get index but I have come across some of the Answers I posted in the forum.Another thing I think I discussed briefly with you on twitter was that if someone copies my content and pastes it in a forum that forum will outrank my original content.This is Googles way of Ranking sites I guess.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 6:03 pm said...

    @roezer, Google gives more weight to the bigger sites with scraped content because of the sheer number of links they get. It’s also a reason why I can’t stand the Ezine directories.

    That is the tragedy of Google’s algorithms because it does not selectively weed out the “scrapers” from the original content writers. Unfortunately the content “scrapers” know this but so do we, and that is why I take every opportunity to call out the phonies.

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  2. Many internet marketeers are dumb enough to think that coining a new term will make a ‘niche’ group such as bloggers warm up to them.

    This is not a case of the White House Administration or Fox news coining new terms to describe their enemies - and get away with it - because the general public are not an ‘experts’ and do not know any better (ie the truth).

    Besides no one else has the right to “content curation” except if it is their *own* work !

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 6:43 pm said...

    @Jaffer, some marketers might be low on the ethics scale but you gotta give them points for creativity.

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  3. I write blogs for some other folks. Last night I did a search and found an article I wrote copied onto 12 other blogs, with only one of them not posting it word for word, but they might as well have, as they only added a link to something else periodically. If it had been my blog I’d have pitched a fit, but I still didn’t like it.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 3:42 pm said...

    @Mitch, of course they will try tell you that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ;-)

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  4. Playing with Copyscape search for stolen content. Check out the results for one post I wrote 2 weeks ago http://www.copyscape.com/?q=http%3A%2F%2...

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    Reply by: simbeckhampson at 3:32 am said...

    RT @BLOGBlokeTips: Playing with Copyscape search for stolen content. Check out the results for one post I wrote 2 weeks ago http://bit.l

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  5. A content curator collects the best of information and showcases it at a single place. No more frustrating search expeditions.
    In a sense, content curation is an offshoot of the minimalism trend. We are trying to get the clutter out of minds, closets, lives and of course, our browser. This link here has got a good analysis why people crave curated content - http://www.brandpilgrim.com/2010/08/why-content-curation-is-here-to-stay.html

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 6:07 pm said...

    @anne potter, with all due respect that’s nonsense. I read the link and it is unbelievably arrogant to say content curators are “leaders” and that we need them to find content for us. Only sheep would agree to that. As for the rest of us who can actually think and search for ourselves we’re not fooled by the rhetoric for one second.

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  6. I completely agree with you! Content curation is a flimsy practice at best and will eventually be blacklisted. You will never win trying to trick or beat Google. You are much better off coming up with a dedicated blogging plan to create your own remarkable content.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 6:07 am said...

    @Mike Ewing, I hope you’re right about the blacklisting and thanks for the comment and dropping by Mike.

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    Reply by: Mike Ewing at 9:06 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, Your article got me fired up … so I wrote my own content about it :)

    http://www.ecommerceinboundmarketing.com/automated-content-curation-is-a-mistake/

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  7. I agree that content curation is stealing. Would you be willing to play in a paradigm where you were paid for your posts and given full attribution? Similar to iStock for images?
    Great post and sentiments btw.

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  8. Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

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  9. Took me time to learn all the comments, but I actually loved the article. It proved to be very helpful to me and I’m positive to all of the commenters here!

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  10. I fully disaggree. Content curation is about adding value by,
    interpret the story in the bigger picture or to indicate whether the source is reliable or not etc.

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    Reply by: Pete Bolduc at 11:37 am said...

    @Christian Schneemann, I agree with both Christian Anne. Content curation has been around as long as the internet. Some in this post seem to think curation is new to the internet created by lazy internet marketers to steel positions.

    AOL just recently paid $315 million dollar for the curated site the Huffington Post. CNN just paid a few million for a site because it was a curated site.

    Google loves curated sites. The problem content curation has is that like anything else in internet marketing there are those who will exploit this viable and effective means of internet marketing selling half prepared courses with little regard to their success.

    None the less, curated sites will continue to prosper because they are extensively used by the public, them meet a specific need, and because Panda likes them as well.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 9:09 am said...

    @Pete Bolduc, please reread this statement from above:

    “Just to be clear, I’m not talking about news aggregation here. Newspaper clipping services of course do it all the time and there’s no harm or foul there. What I am talking about is stealing, ripping off the intellectual property of another writer for profit. A simple analogy might be the difference between quoting news copy as opposed to editorial content.”

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  11. “Of course if someone wants to quote me and intelligently discuss what I’ve written (and link to me) .. that is a completely different matter”

    No it is not. That is what content curation (or any other name you want to call it is about). Most people do it badly. But then most people do most things badly! What did you expect? Anyway, if you put out public information , expect to get mentioned by other people. If that means they get a better search rating or helps them sell shoes so be it…

    You say you are an ex journalist. Did you ever refer to AP storoy and make comments on it. Was that any different?

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  12. “It is my intellectual property that is being ripped off and it is for this reason I can never condone so-called content curation”

    I don’t know what you mean by that. In your own words:

    ” if someone wants to quote me and intelligently discuss what I’ve written and link to me .. that is a completely different matter”

    If they give you credit and make an intelligent comment regarding what writing then how is that stealing your IP?

    Again, your description above “defines” what curation should be. You seem to define content curation in terms of disfunctional applications of it. By that logic every editorial, commentator’s posting is wrong. How many reporters report on stories already broken? Is a shakespeare scholar a fraud?

    The whole IP argument is out of hand. When you put information or software in the public arena, you consent to it being mentioned or quoted. They must give you credit and they can’t copy your entire article. There is also an element of judgment involved

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke (BB) at 2:15 pm said...

    Read this and it may help you out http://www.blogbloke.com/content-curation-right-wrong-way/

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  13. Great article!

    I have a bee in my bonnet for sites like Pinterest, who are the lowest form of “content curation” aka a waste of time and a giant copyright infringement nightmare for content creators.

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  14. I had wondered about Content Curation, how the sellers of this software barefaced say that it was different from copying and stealing

    Telling us bloggers that we gain great traffic, while the sites we get the content from is happy because they get back links

    Way before Content Curation sotware I used something called Utility Poster, which work by entering in a keyword the software searches for content relating to that word
    The results are mixed some articles some video others photo’s

    So I wonder if using Utility Poster is the same as Content Curation
    although it provides the full link back to the original site

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  15. […] It is my intellectual property that is being ripped off and it is for this reason I can never condone so-called content curation. It is a lazy/sleazy person’s way to write content and rank well with the search engines. … Here is what Wikipedia has to say about curating content: The act of curating, of organizing and maintaining a collection of artworks or artifacts; The act of curing or healing; The manual updating of information in a database …Page 2 […]

  16. Why Content Curation is BS

    I found your entry interesting so I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)

  17. […] It is my intellectual property that is being ripped off and it is for this reason I can never condone so-called content curation. It is a lazy/sleazy person’s way to write content and rank well with the search engines. … Here is what Wikipedia has to say about curating content: The act of curating, of organizing and maintaining a collection of artworks or artifacts; The act of curing or healing; The manual updating of information in a database …More […]

  18. New Post: Why Content Curation is BS http://bit.ly/9N8FjY

  19. […] Why Content Curation is Bs It is my intellectual property that is being ripped off and it is for this reason I can never condone so-called content curation. It is a lazy/sleazy person’s way to write content and rank well with the search engines. … Here is what Wikipedia has to say about curating content: The act of curating, of organizing and maintaining a collection of artworks or artifacts; The act of curing or healing; The manual updating of information in a database …Continued […]

  20. […] Why Content Curation is BS blogbloke.com/content-curation/ – view page – cached When I see internet marketers pushing “content curation” my BS meter automatically goes off. Beep .. beep .. beep! Today is no exception. When I hear the term “content curation” I immediately think of content recycling, plagiarism, list makers and the like trying to game Google to get a better position in the SERPS and […] Tweets about this link Topsy.Data.Twitter.User[’blogbloketips’] = {”photo”:”http://a3.twimg.com/profile_images/984624729/bb-head_normal.PNG”,”url”:”http://twitter.com/blogbloketips”,”nick”:”blogbloketips”}; blogbloketips: “Calling all Blokesters! Opinions are welcome http://bit.ly/9N8FjY ” 1 hour ago retweet Topsy.Data.Twitter.User[’blogbloketips’] = {”photo”:”http://a3.twimg.com/profile_images/984624729/bb-head_normal.PNG”,”url”:”http://twitter.com/blogbloketips”,”nick”:”blogbloketips”}; blogbloketips: “New Post: Why Content Curation is BS http://bit.ly/9N8FjY ” 19 hours ago retweet Filter tweets […]

  21. @Curtis .. might? http://bit.ly/cFsjvL

  22. @Curtis, copy that :-) http://bit.ly/cFsjvL

  23. @Jaffer, apparently marketers think we're as dumb as the scams that they're always coming up with. http://bit.ly/cFsjvL

  24. "Why Content Curation is BS" - http://bit.ly/cMAxRg

  25. I write blogs for some other folks. Last night I did a search and found an article I wrote copied onto 12 other bl… http://bit.ly/cFsjvL

  26. @Mitch, of course they will tell you imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ;-) http://bit.ly/cFsjvL

  27. @BLOGBloke, I have seen copies of comments on my blog taken from time to time.Then there is also these splogs that … http://bit.ly/cFsjvL

  28. @roezer, Google gives more weight to the bigger sites with scraped content because of the sheer number of links the… http://bit.ly/cFsjvL

  29. […] you should not share it. When I was looking for more links to include with this article I found, Why Content Curation is BS, in which BlogBloke rightfully rants that content curation should not be used as an excuse for […]

  30. […] you should not share it. When I was looking for more links to include with this article I found, Why Content Curation is BS, in which BlogBloke rightfully rants that content curation should not be used as an excuse for […]

  31. @anne potter, with all due respect that's nonsense. I read the link and it is unbelievably arrogant to say content … http://bit.ly/cFsjvL

  32. Content curation - looks like I asked the right question earlier http://bit.ly/bePaPB

  33. Wondering if the term “Content Curation” is indeed being promoted by internet marketeers to justify content theft. http://bit.ly/flDBbg

  34. […] definidos y la práctica en su conjunto es objeto de un interesante debate ético (ver por ejemplo “Why Content Curation is BS”). En este río revuelto empiezan a aparecer incluso productos como Curata para aplicar esta […]

  35. Amen to that @glasspetalsmoke Why Content Curation is BS - http://bit.ly/cMAxRg via @BLOGBlokeTips

  36. Sure: Why Content Curation is BS http://bit.ly/aKr4l5 @Mitch_M @britz

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

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

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

  40. Why Content Curation is Bull S… ! / by @BLOGBloke shared on scoop.it http://t.co/3iCdgBRh [Direct link : http://t.co/v3g6L1nY ]

  41. Why Content Curation is Bull S… ! / by @BLOGBloke shared on scoop.it http://t.co/3iCdgBRh [Direct link : http://t.co/v3g6L1nY ]

  42. […] Why Content Curation is BS (or at least overrated)  on Blog Bloke […]

  43. Why Content Curation is BS (or at least overrated) http://t.co/RF9FvSIw via @BLOGBloke

  44. […] is given? Some marketers and bloggers group content curation with content scraping. Some call it “overrated plagiarism” or “the arterial plaque of the Internet.” For all its detractors, though, content curation […]

  45. Great article!
    I have a bee in my bonnet for sites like Pinterest, who are the lowest form of “content… http://t.co/8PqBQYLC #blogtips

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