Content Curation Part 1: Finding And Managing Sources

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One of the first steps in content curation is finding high quality sources of regularly produced content. These are two very important qualifications that need to be covered in order to be useful.

Content Source Qualifications

  • High Quality: Starting with reputable sources will make your job easier and in turn give your readers that best information. Starting with a low quality, or unknown, source is asking for trouble. There’s nothing wrong with monitoring relatively “unknown” sources but don’t rely on them in the beginning.
  • Regularly Producing Content: Again, this is important in the beginning – you don’t want to have a feed reader full of sources that haven’t updated in months. When you are finding your sources be sure to see how often they post and when the last time they posted was. If it has been several weeks or months you may want to skip them.

Ok, now that you know how to screen sources for quality, you need to go out and start building your “list”. The best way to go about this is to first choose your favorite RSS feed reader. I recommend Feedly, mostly because it works well, it widely used, and the free version works well for our purposes. You can use any feed reader you want – another one that I like is Minimal Reader (not free). If you are not familiar with finding RSS feeds or using a reader, check out this article.

Building Your Content Source List

Assuming you have an understanding of RSS and how to use a feed reader, the next steps involve seeking out your content. With a keyword(s) in mind, check out the following sources that allow searching:

  • Google Alerts
    • Create an RSS based alert from keywords or have it emailed to you
  • Quora
    • Able to search via keywords, great for finding pain points of potential customers or markets.
    • Able to create RSS feeds from topics: for example, if you search for “Content creation” and choose the topic, you can just add “/rss” onto the end to create an RSS feed of the topic. So, the feed URL would look like this for the content curation topic: http://www.quora.com/Web-Content-Curation/rss
  • Google News
    • Able to search by keywords.
    • Great tool for finding high quality, regular publishing sources. Once you find a good source, look for an RSS feed from the site or author to keep up to date for further news.
  • Social Media
    • Able to search by keywords.
    • Think of hashtags: #contentcuration – making RSS feeds is a bit of a hack, but these can be useful for a quick search to see if people are talking about a subject.
    • Use http://www.pagedatapro.com to find out what the “big” pages are in a topic and then go from there for ideas and content.
  • LinkedIn
    • Of course, good for business news and technical / marketing talk. Using the search by posts methods you can see if there is any discussion around a topic, from there you can find what people are talking about and any content produced around it.

The list goes on and on – this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of content sources, just a way to get started. A lot of your sources will depend on the industry you are in and what proves to be the most effective over time. In general, finding and using sources will lead you to new sources. Be sure to add any RSS feeds you come across to your feed reader for use at a later date when you start curating.

Watch the video below for a more detailed explanation of these steps and a few extra tips:

Next: Content Curation Part 2: Examples

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Content Curation Part 1: Finding And Managing Sources
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Content curation requires you to find high quality sources. This article describes several way to find and manage sources.
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