Online content curation is a hot trend as business owners and professionals realize that content is vital to add value to their customers and prospects. The trend was already evident in 2011 but 2012 saw an outright explosion of the phenomenon. Also important is delivering and sharing that content on your social media networks.
Content curation is the art of selecting content that is appropriate and then organising and publishing it in a way that is relevant for the topic of choice. This can be offline with print such as magazines or online via the web. Magazines about cars or fashion are evidence of content curation in action. Editors with the aid of journalists create and collect content then edit and then publish.
Journalism is shifting more and more from the quest for the perfect “scoop” to a more organized and reasoned activity of content curation. The same thing is true for those who do have a passion they would love to write about, but simply lack the time to write and keep a blog, not to mention companies that would like to have an active presence online, but cannot afford hiring a communication agency to do the work for them.
The technology of the web and the rise of the social media networks is providing sources of content that can provide curation in ways that were not previously possible.
The content curation platform Scoop.it is an example how we can all become magazine editors and content curators without the overhead of hiring editors or journalists. Scoop.it was established in 2011 with the goal of making content curation easy and accessible to everyone.
What was the Inspiration for Scoop.it?
This is the scenario that led to the birth of Scoop.it.
The founders were literally in love with social media, but had no time to produce content. They had already been working on another platform, where they published content organized in topics. People loved it, but after a while they felt the growing need of getting content that was more specific, based on their single interests.
So a person might be interested in music, but in particular classical music. And not just classical music, but violin and not just any violin, but violin music from the XVIII century. So what the founders did was quite unique: they handed the “keys” to the publishing platform to the community itself, allowing everyone to become a curator and publish their own online magazine on their topic of choice.
The Interview with the Founder
We asked one of the founders, Marc Rougier which platforms they got their inspiration from. In essence and in Marc’s opinion when you do something on the web you don’t “invent the wheel“, you get inspired. You use different services, select the things you like and work best and make sense for what you want to do. Curation is defined by selection, editing and sharing.
Below is the interview with Marc.
To start publishing with Scoop.it and set up your own magazine, the only thing you need to have is passion and a certain expertise regarding a particular topic. If you have that, the platform will simply make it easier for you to publish.
How do you Use Scoop.it?
It involves four key steps to publish your own online magazine that allows you to start curating and publishing content on your chosen topic that you are passionate about whether that is social media, sport or fashion.
Step 1: Identify the Topic Area
You just need to log in with your Twitter or Facebook account and insert a few keywords (3 or 4) about the chosen topic in the system. Scoop.it interrogates all the search engines, connects to the API’s (Application Interfaces) of the major social networks and RSS feeds (blog content) and then proposes the content to the curator.
Step 2: Select
The content curator decides what to publish from the content selected for them by the curation engine.
Step 3: Edit
You (the editor) add your own slant and personal touch to the topic to add to the Scoop.it magazine. This can involve both text editing as well as the online magazine’s layout.
Step 4: Share
Once the magazine is ready, you can share it and connect it to your online social presence, pushing the content out to your social media channels. The magazine has its own URL web presence.
Scoop.it was only launched just over a year ago to private beta. As for numbers, Scoop.it is now receiving 5.5 million unique users per month. This has been done without even investing in traditional marketing, but only relying on word of mouth and the power of social media. The growth is trending at 30-35% per month, with a slight reduction during the Christmas period.
Who is Using It?
The majority of Scoop.it users are in fact companies and professionals that use the platform for work reasons. For example, the most frequent case is that of companies convinced that the web is vital and they have a Twitter account, a Facebook fanpage, a blog or a website. The challenge is that these are only the platforms and the infrastructure. These platforms need content, so they rely on Scoop.it, especially if the company is small and can’t afford to hire a communication agency.
So professionals and companies are using the platform to provide content that feeds their web presence and adds value to their customers and prospects.
The other side benefit provided by the platform is that it is also acting as an educational tool that pushes knowledge out to users on specified topics
There are three levels of pricing for the content curation platform. These range from the entry level “Free” plan up to the top level “Business”.
Level 1: Free Plan
The free plan gives you all the tools you need to get started but without analytics and curation limited to one person.
Level 2: Pro Plan
The PRO plan, the cheapest among the paid ones, also offers analytics and the possibility to delegate curation to members of a team. This is priced at $12.99 per month
Level 3: Business Plan
The Business plan, the most expensive, gives the possibility to small and medium companies to have a website, with a personalized URL, graphic charts, customizable layout and fully customizable topics. It will also allow you to host that content on your own URL (Domain name) which is vital for SEO. This is plan will cost you $79 per month.
The Goals for the Future
Scoop.it has recently moved to San Francisco to continue to maintain its growth and visibility at the heart and hub of technology and other startups.
The goals for the future are without a doubt making sure that the value proposition is understood for Scoop.it, promoting paid packages and finally bringing Scoop.it and content curation on mobile devices. They have launched a iPhone app and an Android app. The next important stage is to launch an iPad version.
Marc also sees maintaining a high quality experience as vital in the continuing development of the platform.
What About You
Is content curation an important part of your social media, content and digital marketing. Are you currently using Scoop.it?
How have you found it? Are you using any other content curation platforms?
Look forward to hearing your stories in the comments below.
Want to Learn How to Create Great Content?
My book – Blogging the Smart Way “How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.