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In Defense of Content Curation

There’s been a fair amount written lately about the value – or lack thereof – of content curation. Eric Wittlake blogged last month that curating content is overrated.

Whether it’s overrated or underrated is like arguing about whether a ballplayer is rated appropriately – a lot of fun but ultimately pointless. The question is, is it worth your while? Does it help your business create a connection with prospects and clients? I say Yes.

Is it an invaluable service? No.

Should it be construed as Thought Leadership? No.content curation scraping

But it is valuable and it does help to stir the conversation. And that’s important.

People who share other people’s content are similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s mavens – “information specialists … people we rely upon to connect us with new information." They accumulate knowledge and share it with others, often in this day and age through social media.

To me, curating content created by others shows some level of intellectual curiosity and a willingness to share and discuss. That’s a good start on a business relationship.

And you will be providing a service – it’s a big Internet out there, and not everyone has time to read it start to finish each day. Curating content that’s created by others can be helpful to the audience you’re trying to reach; email newsletters and Twitter feeds help me find what I’m looking for, even if I don’t know what it is that I’m seeking. The reality is that most decision-makers don’t have time to be on Twitter all day, monitoring every scrap of information. Somebody needs to funnel it to them, and if that’s you, you’ve placed yourself in an advantageous position. And I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re all trying to do.

Be An Opinion Leader

Better still is what Angela Dunn advocates – curating content while providing some analysis of the content you’re sharing. This informs your audience of your viewpoint on the industry. It demonstrates thoughtfulness about the business

As someone once sarcastically told me, Thought Leaders need to have a leading thought, at least occasionally. There are only a few philosophers who can deliver on that and marketers who sit around and wait for the CEO to have a grand vision might be waiting a long, long time.

When I’m looking for someone to do business with, they don’t necessarily need to have a crystal ball; they need to have an opinion, ideally one that is backed by logic. For most, the “Associated-Press-just-the-facts-ma’am” mode of information delivery is antiquated. In 2012, we can find out what happened so quickly and from so many sources that it isn’t valuable – we need analysis. Sharing content should operate the same way; tell me what you think of the latest idea. That demonstrates to me that you’re paying attention to the latest ideas, but that you aren’t just an automaton and that there’s actual thinking going on in there.

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