Curation isn’t uncreative. It’s a way of interacting with other people’s work. Some examples of well-curated content might be the mix tapes that top hip-hop artists put out. Yes, some of their own work sometimes makes the cut, but so does material from their less-well-known friends and collaborators. So do rarities and stuff from up-and-comers. The artists get to test how their audience reacts to a track or a performer; a good response might mean a new signing. And at the same time, artists get to advertise the depth and breadth of their own familiarity with the scene, pulling a range of tracks and styles together to reflect well on themselves and showcase their own immersion and passion.
Curation isn’t uncreative. It’s a way of interacting with other people’s work.
Just because you don’t create hip-hop music doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the same methods. While your content curation efforts will most likely perform sub-optimally if you fully automate the process, you can take some of the spadework out of the business of curation with curation tools. These range from enabling you to track Twitter conversations you deem relevant, so you can mine them for appropriate quotes without having to follow them manually, to search mechanisms that flag posts across social spaces that meet your criteria.
Here’s my pick of the best 21 content curation tools.