Apps That’ll Make You A Content Curator Extraordinaire

by · April 25, 201329 comments

For a busy guy like me, it’s difficult sometimes to keep up with all of the latest best practices and technology tools that seem to crop up continuously in the field of digital marketing.  One of those areas that I’ve apparently fallen behind on is content curation and marketing.  Not good!  Because  this is an area that has become, as Stephanie Graves notes, “the go-to audience building strategy for top brands and organizations seeking to connect with their target audiences in a meaningful, non-sales-y way.”

I am one of those people who was merrily going along using the combination of Google Alerts, RSS Feeds, Google Reader and BufferApp as my preferred set of tools for finding interesting third-party content on particular subjects of interest and sharing them on my own Facebook Pages or others that I help to manage.

When Google announced that they were discontinuing Google Reader and made Google Alerts disappear I was perturbed to say the least.

My initial knee-jerk reaction was to try to find a set of tools that were as similar to the ones I was using as possible.  It wasn’t really all that hard.  With a little research I was able to come up with Talkwalker Alerts as an alternative to Google Alerts and Feedly as my Google Reader replacement.  I was a happy camper and back in my comfort zone.

But, you know what?  When it comes to digital marketing best practices and the technologies to support them, a comfort zone is not always the best place to be.  You miss a lot, you fall behind, you slowly lose your edge.

Don’t get me wrong… I still love the value I get from finding new great content sources with “alerts” and then using RSS Feeds to deliver all the new content from my favorite sources to one easy to use platform.

But, I have to admit that in my journey to find replacements for my Google technology tools, I quickly began to see just how far behind the content curation technology curve I had become.

I’ve been experimenting with Trap.it who proudly claims that they are the “world’s most advanced personalized content discovery application.”   After all, It’s built with Artificial Intelligence technology that was originally developed for DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

I also came across XYDO.  A content curation platform that “helps you find trending videos, articles, blog posts and photos relevant to your business and facilitates sharing it with your audience.”  Geez, Jason Falls was even on the company’s home page.  How could I have not known about it.

There are other interesting looking content curation solutions like Pearltrees, Curata and Content Gems which I haven’t had a chance to play with yet.

There’s  Scoop.it and Paper.li for finding and publishing content on cool looking online magazines and then sharing these on your other social media properties.

But the application that intrigued me right away was Storify and specifically the new “Storify for Business” which was in the news last week.  Storify is a tool to either alone, or collaboratively, construct details about a conference, event or topic from sources and content (articles, video, pictures, text snip-its social media posts) from all over the web and then then organize and comment on them so that they tell a story.  The business version allows people and companies to create private stories and to customize them to match your blog style.  Storify is also being used to create reports that show actual examples of the current online sentiment towards a company or brand.

Here’s an example of a Story I constructed in Storify about a unique content application I’ve run across mulu.me and its Founder and CEO Amaryllis Fox.

So, what are your favorite content curation tools and why do you like them?  Please comment below.

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About Jim Berkowitz

Jim Berkowitz

Jim is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) industry analyst and technology consultant who assists organizations in planing for, selecting and succeeding with technology designed to get, keep and grow customers. As an Industry Analyst and CRM Technology Coach with CRM Mastery, Inc., (a company he founded in 2004) Jim provides technology selection services to enterprises across the country seeking to invest in CRM technology solutions. In addition, as a Digital Marketer, Jim provides web site design and development as well as internet and social media marketing services to small businesses and celebrities in Telluride, Colorado and beyond.

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://twitter.com/gregbardwell Greg Bardwell

    What tool you use depends on your goals and audience. We focus on B2B lead generation and branding, therefore it needs high customization and integration capabilities. That is why we built the B2B Content Engine (www.b2bcontentengine.com). It scales for business needs and has many pro-level features to make content marketers much more productive. Our background started as a semantic search tool (which we sold to the NSA and CIA), however to be able to add your own content and branding pros like to be in the loop — they need to be.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jlberkowitz Jim Berkowitz

      Thanks for the info. appreciate your taking part in the conversation.

  • http://twitter.com/socialextn Tatiana Aders ♔

    I use a combination of these tools in my content curation discovery process. Then I read & score the stories across a number of metrics (social shares, media outlet credibility, author, etc) and the top 5-6 stories are chosen. Then I editorialize each of the top stories – this process extracts the main value props for my target audience and is copy-written with a targeted hook to enhance click-throughs. Finally, I publish each editorialized story on the prioritized social networks (each editorial is unique for each social network).

    So basically my process is Discovery -> Curation -> Editorialize -> Publish you can see a nice infographic of this process at http://www.socialmediaextension.com/strategy/process

    Social networks are the best channels for publication because this is where the ‘news stream’ exists and where your target audience will most likely pick it up. I call this the Social News Curation Strategy. It is proven to grow targeted audiences on social networks, increase engagement & syndication (like Retweets).

    • http://www.facebook.com/jlberkowitz Jim Berkowitz

      You have an excellent, well thought out and disciplined approach — Thanks so much for sharing

  • Dara Khajavi

    I was also disappointed when Google announced that Google reader would be discontinued. Thanks for enlightening me about these other great apps.

  • http://charissagrandin.com Charissa Grandin

    Lingospot also offers great content curation/marketing software to help you share the most relevant and helpful content with your target audience. You can share posts, create tweets, or create blog posts from scratch introducing top industry-related content–all accessed from the Lingospot console and integrated with your WordPress blog. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenna.gavin.50 Jenna Gavin

    Surfdash.com is another excellent curation tool for gathering, organizing, and sharing content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+, Reddit, and even via private email – and it’s FREE. The difference between those you mention and Surfdash is the ability to collect content (including video) from anywhere on the web – PRIVATELY – that can be organized, shared, and even cited with simple user action. Content can be manipulated individually or entire boards can be published, with notes! (disclaimer: I am the creator of Surfdash.com :)

    • http://twitter.com/DanCSharp Dan C. Sharp

      honesty is always appreciated, hopefully its good.

  • http://twitter.com/danieldoherty Daniel Doherty

    I think scoop.it is being underplayed in this article. I agree storify is good but scoop.it does so much more. it really empowers my clients to curate good content to share via social. I need to try there pro functions of embedding it on other websites to get some Seo benefits and also try the email plug ins. Am very impressed and think it has a lot of benefits.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jlberkowitz Jim Berkowitz

      Thanks for the feedback Daniel — I too will look more closely at scoop.it — There are certainly lots of choices in this space…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sergio.Andres.Herrera.Velasquez Sergio Andres Herrera Velásque

    Well, I started trying with scoop.it, but I have come to prefer pearltrees as it has a very nice design, not to mention that it makes it easier for users to organize their bookmarks than scoop.it does it, and as I am familiar with mindmaps and prefer them , for me , it does work all of the magic, besides , you are also able to add to your pearltrees information from other pearlers; In addition to that, pearltrees.com lets you install something call the pearler which makes it easier to curate websites while surfing the net than scoop.it does it

  • http://twitter.com/TweetsFromPawan Pawan Deshpande

    Jim, thanks for the mention. If you’re interested in seeing Curata firsthand, please send me a tweet at @TweetsFromPawan.

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  • AnnMullen

    I am surprised that none of you mentioned CurationSoft. It’s simple to use and gives me a head start on my research procedure.

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  • http://twitter.com/marcthomalla Marc Thomalla

    Hi Jim,

    cool article!
    The last days we got a lot of traffic from scoop.it for http://keeeb.com
    Keeeb is a content/multimedia curation tool with the best clipping technology (we think ;-))

    Would be great to have your feedback.
    Questions? marc@keeeb.com

    Best
    M
    COO @keeeb

  • http://about.me/jenniferlmacdonald Jennifer MacDonald

    Jim thank you for the list of tools, there are quite a few I was not aware of. I do like Storify a lot myself, my friend @Debce uses it to show the conversations that were generated from her Podcasts. At Engage121 we have developed our own content curation software that generates 5 hot content articles each day for our users. Content is King, why not make it easy! : ) -@jennimacdonald

    • http://www.facebook.com/jlberkowitz Jim Berkowitz

      It’s good to be king! And you’re right. For the time-being, content is king.

      • http://about.me/jenniferlmacdonald Jennifer MacDonald

        Jim I’m glad to have you on my side. : )

  • jessicamalnik

    As someone who has been actively curating content on Storify for over a year, I have to stay it’s one of the most underrated tools in a content marketer’s arsenal. Storify for business may be a gamechanger.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jlberkowitz Jim Berkowitz

      I agree jessica.. It’s quite different from many of the other content curation tools… and quite effective.

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  • mtnhigh

    I’ve been using Learni.st for about a year and I’m loving it from both the curation and browsing side of things.

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