Editor’s Picks: Content Curation Tools

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Content curation is the collection of content created by others, then filtered through one’s own point of refer­ence. The best curated content adds commentary that provides insight into the larger topic. Many tools exist to help you collect relevant content across a variety of online media, ranging from search engine results to up-to-the-minute social media shares. They vary from bare­bones to full of bells and whistles. Remember — if the tool doesn’t automatically cite sources, don’t forget to credit the original sources with proper citation. The fol­lowing five popular content curation tools are either free or have free versions with some limitations on features.

1.  Scoop.it

A full-featured content curation tool, Scoop.it helps you find items re­lated to your topic, arranging them in a newspaper-like format saved as a URL under the Scoop.it domain. The free version lets you create up to 5 topics, edit items that you collect, and share via social media. To brand a topic under your own domain, have access to analytics, and more advanced options, you will need the Business version ($79/month). Scoop.it keeps links to the origi­nal source intact when you “scoop” an individual news piece into your topic. A bookmarklet lets you grab items off the Internet.

2.  Storify

The original intent of Sto­rify was “to help journal­ists, bloggers and experts curate and present the best of the social Web’s real-time content.” Although you can add pieces collected via Google search, primarily you choose pieces from social media sources, and then add your own edits and ex­planations to create a story. The finished piece can be embedded on your own site. Storify uses an easy drag-and-drop process from the search results area to the sto­ryboard. A bookmarklet makes collection of source ma­terial easy when web browsing.

3.  CurationSoft

CurationSoft is very simple to use. It differs from oth­ers in that your stories are posted to your own website, rather than merely embedded, and can be edited in any HTML text editor. One can create a WordPress post, for example, and drag and drop pieces directly from Cura­tionSoft. The free version only pulls content from Google Blogs and has advertising placements. To access content from social media and other sites, the Pro version is re­quired at $59 per year.

4.  BagTheWeb

A more basic tool, Bag TheWeb users create a “bag” to hold items they wish to collect, publish, and share. Pieces are added by copying the URL into the add link box or using the bookmarklet while brows­ing the web. Items can be placed in a different order on the page, titles can be edited, and pictures added. What makes this tool interesting is the ability to build net­works of bags by linking individual bags together.

5.  NetVibes

If all you are looking for is a way to collect cur­rent, real-time items in an all-in-one dashboard, the free version of Netvibes may be sufficient. The choice of sources to collect is large – you can even have your email show up on the dash­board. The Premium version adds analytics and con­tent curation, but at a hefty $500 per month (there is a 14-day trial). Team collaboration is also available at extra cost.

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2 Comments

  1. For your WordPress blog you might try MyCurator. Its free at http://www.target-info.com. Its unique AI feed reader saves you hours per day as you train it to discover new and interesting content.

  2. Nice post, and good point on the attribution issue. I'd also recommend http://spike.newswhip.com. It picks out the news articles and blog posts attracting the most shares/hour in real time across a variety of different verticals. Great for staying on top of today's most engaging news in your niche.