Martin (Marty) Smith
November 12, 2013

Why Content Curation Is Disruptive

Many Hands raise high up

What Is Content Curation

Curation is an active filtering of the web’s infinite content and it may be the most disruptive Internet marketing tactic. Curators do more than simply assign meta value via categorization. Great curators comment and share experience across content, authors and themes.

Great curators such as Robin Good or our host Jan Gordon see patterns others don’t.

I shocked Phil Buckely’s Raleigh SEO Meetup recently by suggesting the optimal ratio of curation to creation may be as high as 90% curation to 10% creation. Creating content is expensive. Curation, by comparison, is much less expensive.

You can curate more content than you can create in the same amount of time (sometimes as high as 10 to 1). 

Each “unit of curation” generates feedback loops and social shares. Those feedback loops should inform your content creation.

Curation’s reach advantage, the ability to reach more people faster, is one reason curating should trump creation for most content marketers. Other reasons curation should be important include:

•    Curation is cheaper (more bang for the time / money spent).
•    Curation helps create authority.
•    Authority increases search traffic and revenue.
•    Curation should inform creation.
•    Curation is a great testing ecosystem (feedback is cheap and fast).

Why Is Curation Disruptive?

In 2003 when I discussed the important of content marketing few cared. In 2013 everyone is creating content. Content is the new SEO. Content is the new Advertising. Content marketing is the “new” marketing savior. 

When everyone is doing something as complicated as content marketing quality goes down. My ratios used to be about 50% curation to 50% creation. we can afford to lower creation now for two reasons:

  • An archive of almost a million words published across 4 blogs.
  • With so many people creating so much POOR content, creating LESS and making it BETTER is disruptive.
  • This “less and better” is  Curatti’s Editors of Chaos mission. is my content marketing testing “sandbox”.

I curate 15 to 30 pieces of “Snippet Content” “scooped” into 12 different “online magazines” daily. Snippet content is more than just sharing the link. Robin Good and Jan taught me to share 100 to 300 words of perspective on content being scooped. Perspective = voice and those comments provide the framework for what and how content is shared.

Then I watch views and shares like a hawk watching a field.

When a topic trends it goes into a “watch” category. 

I watch to see if interest can be sustained over 72 hours. Most content, even popular trending content, dies fast. For content to be worth writing about in a blog curated or scooped content needs to show a consistent gain (of views and shares) over several days.

If the third day on is as strong or stronger than the first and the content is “trending” well and out-performing the rest of shared content then a blog post is warranted. 

Blog posts should generate 10x share and LIKE interest of the first curated content. I use to publicize the post along with other social media (Facebook, Twitter and GPlus).

If the blog’s view and share numbers are increasing even after three days I may write a “redux” post. 

Redux posts share how fast the original content trended. The “new” information is the speed of pickup.Blogging about the viral nature of content does one of two things – it puts out the fire or throws gasoline on it.

Hard to accurately predict “viral content”, One viral content marketing truth is sure. Content that HAS gone viral is more likely to get a significant second bump than cold content (content without any indication on how it will move).  If this sounds like “content roulette” you aren’t too far off.

Snippet Curation with a powerful tool like moves your Internet marketing away from the pack. The pack is creating content faster and faster without a full understanding of what works. Most content marketers add NOISE in the hope screaming louder will make content stand out. It never does.

Active and feedback loop based curation stops that trend helping content marketers to create more “winners” by using testing and Snippet Curation to test the waters before increasing investment and writing blog posts (and putting blog PageRank at risk). The power of curation’s feedback loops is why to curate more than you create AND why the best ratio may be as high as 90% curation to 10% creation.

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Passionate cancer survivor, Internet marketer and former Director of Ecommerce who believes in Margaret Mead's quote, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Glad to be an "Editor of Chaos".

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