The Right Way and Wrong Way to Curate Content

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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.

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:

checkmark The Right Way and Wrong Way to Curate ContentThe Right Way to Curate Content:

  1. Making intelligent comments on something that interests you.
  2. Referencing a portion of an article is Ok and can add background and 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)…

cross The Right Way and Wrong Way to Curate ContentThe 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 (if not most) “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 link but it still doesn’t make it right.

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.

These so-called “content curators” 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 it does is dilute 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? Or the blog networks that are 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 these online recycle bins and make things simpler again.

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?

That’s just my humble opinion of course. How about you?