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September 12, 2012

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Ricardo Bueno

Re: "content curation is nowhere near as powerful as generating original content."

Couldn't agree with you more!

JonDiPietro

But David, this takes precious time away from cold calling, press releases and ad design.

Beth Robinson

Yes, curation is not as powerful as creating original content.

I believe it can be an effective complement.

When someone picks up a magazine and later subscribes, it's often for the featured articles. Yet they appreciate the columns and tidbits and such as well.

With the amount of related content and ideas freely available on the web, they can be included as side pieces, relating a company to the full ecosystem of their industry.

Especially when the company has a particular viewpoint that changes the significance of the curated content by the reason for its collection.

Unfortunately, creating a multi-tiered strategy is likely to be more difficult.

Joseph Ratliff

Your article states: "Unlike writing your own blog post or shooting your own video, content curation simply involves pointing to others' work."

From my perspective, true content curation isn't simply pointing to another entity's work as your post describes. True curation is what you do with that content to add value to it AS you're pointing to others' work.

And that's where quite a few websites get curation wrong.

(BTW, I want to say that the act of pointing to other content is aggregation, but I don't know that is the 100% correct term)

David Meerman Scott

Ricardo & Jon - thanks.

Beth - you're right content curation can coexist. I wanted to point out that many people only do curation.

Joseph - Indeed you're right that putting context around others' content has value. And yes, there are various terms such as "aggregation" that float around. Thanks for jumping in.

Hans

Ditto what Beth says by adding your own unique perspective to someone else's content. Plus, it can be hard to publish original content on a daily basis, so throwing in curated work shouldn't hurt too much.

Jeremy Woolf

There's certainly value in your community seeing you as a source of the latest material (Robert Scoble excels here). But sharing alone isn't going to get you very far. Content strategies need curated content (that's shared within context), original content (that's compelling and new) and what I'll call 'comment' content (where you're joining other discussions).

Gdecugis

Hi David, Guillaume here (one of the founders of Scoop.it). Thanks for mentioning us.

Beth, Joseph and Jo already highlighted the complementarity between curation and creation which is a good way to look at it (rather than substitution: we agree). Just to add to the discussion on how we look at creation and curation working jointly, you can check out what we just did with SlideShare, a great platform for content creators, which is fresh from yesterday: http://bit.ly/OnRxEd

Thanks for generating this interesting discussion!

Meagan Dahl

I disagree with your statement "Unlike writing your own blog post or shooting your own video, content curation simply involves pointing to others' work."

From my view, content curation is a blended approach. The examples you give are not necessarily content curation apps, they are more like an organizational and sharing tool for your RSS feed. Content curation is not just pointing to other people's work, it allows for proper attribution and back links. You can write a post that includes media, images, quotes tweets, and other relevant content from outside stories and still produce a meaningful, content curated post by adding your own insights and original content.

I don't disagree that original content is not important, but because of the networked, community sharing space we live and work in, we have to change our view of authorship. What we need is a way to curate and create concurrently.

Jeff McNeill

Agreed, but curated content can deliver some value and costs much less than original content. A mix of the two is not a bad approach.

Louise Lorenzo

Content curation should not be meant to be as a substitute for original content writing. Nothing beats original content. Well, in terms of writing.

David Meerman Scott

Hans, Jeremy, Jeff, Louise - thanks for jumping in!

Guillaume - Really appreciate you providing the link for more information. I do agree on the complimentary nature of curation and creation. And Scoop.it is a great way for people who choose to curate to do it easily.

Meagan - You're keeping me honest. You're right - creation can be a good way to share and produce meaningful benefit. It is not black or white. / on or off.

Anton Koekemoer

Hi David.

Yes – I do agree. The time spent curating on content can be better used for writing your own unique content. The more you write, the easier it becomes… Unlike with content curation….

Paul Stallard

I 100 per cent agree. At my agency we have a team of content creatiors who are all trained journalists because our clients understand that content is important but great content is king. If you do this right, people will link to you and share which surely has to be better than the other way around.

That said link curation can help get you name noticed by influencers you are trying to get in front of which should never be underestimated.

Raj Khera

David, I agree with the original premise of your article. Curated content won't build thought leadership. Granted, sending curated content is better than nothing. But if I were evaluating two companies for a project and got a newsletter from each, the one who sent original content would, in most cases, have an edge in getting my business over the one who sent curated content.

The point about commenting on a curated article is a good one, but if you are going write original thoughts, then you aren't too far from creating an original piece anyway... might as well just add a bit to those comments and draft an original article that links to the one you're discussing.

Jchernov

David -

First of all, huge credit to you for having an opinion. There's too much Mitt Romney in social media ... too many people practiced at the art of not standing for anything for more than a moment.

The only behavior that's more common than the lack of opinion is the art of false science. I'd love to give a ratio (80% of your content should be original, 20% should be curated), but the stat would be invented. That said, I think manually, deliberately, carefully curated content (e.g., What 10 Thought Leaders Have to Say About Infographics) is excellent SUPPLEMENTAL content in a content marketing program. The problem is when it's the thrust of the program, a problem that's exacerbated by low-value "automated" curation.

Translation: I think curation is valuable if two criteria are met: (1) It's in moderation, (2) It's done carefully and purposefully.

That's the end of my rant. Mostly I just wanted to say that I am always happy to read a post in which the author has an opinion. Kudos to you.

-Joe Chernov / @Jchernov / Eloqua

David Meerman Scott

Joe -- Thanks for noticing that I have an opinion and for offering your little rant. I appreciate that.

walter

Thanks for sharing this David. Its a topic that I've been thinking about of late. In my mind, there probably exists a continuum of content from just pure sharing (without any value added perspectives) to pure creation. Many of us probably create blog posts that are somewhere in between, creating a "mash-up" that mixes different sources of content together to provide a certain perspective.

In terms of sharing, Facebook would be useful to increase the "talkability" of a shared content, while Twitter seems more useful in dissemination as opposed to discussion. Original content creation may bring you greater impact, but shared content may bring you more friends. :)

Content Writer

Content curation may be takes less time to do and always its of no great value and the content written original only have real value and the writers have satisfaction for their work.

David Meerman Scott

Walter - good point on Facebook including a lot of sharing.

Ryan Cote

Content curation might be a recipe for temporary ranking and success but is not the way to go for lasting results. For long term results, original content remains king and there is no substitute.

Steve Garfield

Check this:

Create a video and send it in for FREE to Maroon5 for possible use in their new music video.

Daylight Project
http://www.daylightproject.org/daylight/

Contest Rules Excerpt
'CONTRIBUTOR IRREVOCABLY GRANTS TO SPONSOR AND ITS AGENTS THE UNCONDITIONAL AND PERPETUAL RIGHT TO POST, DISPLAY, PUBLISH, USE, ADAPT, EDIT AND/OR MODIFY EACH SUCH SUBMISSION IN ANY WAY, IN ANY AND ALL MEDIA, FOR ANY PURPOSE, WITHOUT LIMITATION, AND WITHOUT CONSIDERATION TO YOU. BY SUBMITTING THE SUBMISSION HEREUNDER, CONTRIBUTOR DOES IRREVOCABLY ASSIGN AND TRANSFER TO THE SPONSOR ANY AND ALL RIGHTS, TITLE AND INTEREST IN ENTRY, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ALL COPYRIGHTS AND WAIVE ALL MORAL RIGHTS IN EACH SUBMISSION. ALL CONTRIBUTORS FURTHER AGREE TO RELEASE AND INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS THE PROGRAM SPONSORS (AS DEFINED ABOVE) AND THE SPONSOR FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS THAT ANY COMMERCIAL, ADVERTISING, PRESENTATION, WEB CONTENT OR ANY OTHER MATERIAL SUBSEQUENTLY PRODUCED, PRESENTED, AND/OR PREPARED BY OR ON BEHALF OF SPONSOR INFRINGES ON THE RIGHTS OF CONTRIBUTOR'S WORK AS CONTAINED IN ANY SUBMISSION.

CONDITIONS: Each Contributor agrees and acknowledges that Contributor’s decision to provide the Submission to Sponsor for purposes of the Program, shall not give rise to any confidential, fiduciary, implied-in-fact, implied-in-law, or other special relationship between the Promotion Entities and Contributor, and that the only contracts, express or implied, between the Promotion Entities and Contributor is as set forth in these Official Rules. In addition, by participating in the Program and providing a Submission, each Contributor hereby grants permission (except where prohibited by law) for the Sponsor to use Contributor’s Submission, name, likeness, voice, quotes, comments, biographical information, photograph and/or image for the purpose of advertising, trade, or promotion without further compensation or consideration in any and all media now known or hereafter developed throughout the universe in perpetuity."

David Meerman Scott

Steve -- Wow!! The lawyers rule this one! Many thanks for sharing.

Matt Kumin

David -- thanks for sharing your thoughts in the Creation vs. Curation debate. I'd like to suggest we look more closely at what defines "original content."

The idea that a person writing an original commentary on existing content can't be considered original content misses the point. Curation doesn't have to be limited to only picking links just as original content doesn't have to limited to 1,000-word articles. By adding original commentary or annotations to existing content, there's strong potential for curators to build thought leadership, create higher content frequency at a lower cost, and create a content stream of added value that can complement a deeper original content strategy -- ultimately giving readers (who are increasingly scanning content) a compelling reason to come back to your site, read your newsletter etc.

There's an expanding role for curation to play, but let's not limit what's possible with curation with a limited definition of what original content means. For an interesting example check out Skift (http://www.skift.com), a new kind of B2B "homepage" for the travel industry that adds a curator's "take" providing quick summaries and insights for all content on the site, whether original or curated links. Thanks again, good post!

- Matt Kumin / PublishThis

Julie Musial

I agree 100% that original content creation is best. I have been watching some heavy content curated sites and have noticed they rank extremely high in organic searches so it does work for those who choose the curation route. I try to do a variety of content curation, extensions of a topic I have something original to contribute, education and videos.

Laura Briere

Nice article, David! Being original is the name of the game. That should be the focus. Content curation plays an important role, too, but it's more like the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

Pamscape

Doing my websites by the Google webmaster guidelines, this past spring my sites were was hit hard by Penguin.I lost 70 percent of my profits.I joined Odesk as a means to supplement my income.I was hired to write curated content.What I actually found was that it took me much longer to write GOOD curated content!It's not a short cut.There are many many bloggers that seemed to have jumped on the bandwagon to curated content instead of their own wonderful original words.I think that is sad.It's like all the cookie cuter storefronts you see traveling town to connected town.No more original mom and pop stores, no more original content.I can see the benefit of both and I'm wondering if a little bit of both would work on a site.I think I might try that on my revamped sites.It's a shame Bing and Yahoo aren't more well used, they actually kept my sites on their front pages of their search engines after Google dumped me.I no long worry too much about Google, as I did everything they requested and still failed somehow.Now everyone says curated content is the way to Googles heart.It won't be long before Google PTB see it as search engine manipulation and start calling curated content a duplication penalty.LOL

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