Finding Ways to Give Your Audience What They Want With Content Curation
Ask anyone outside of the SEO and marketing world the question ‘what is content curation’ and it is almost guaranteed that you would be met with a blank stare. The interesting thing is that if these people have ever used any kind of social media or shopping sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Amazon and many others the chances are they will have seen it working whenever they log in.
So what is content curation?
In its most simple form content curation is essentially information that is selected, organized and displayed so that it is unique to each individual. Say for example someone goes onto a website and searches for a book by a particular author that day. The next day when they log in content curation would look at what they had recently searched for and their main page would show either similar types of books or other books by that author. Other forms of content curation could even look at things that the users’ friends have been looking at recently and show these things to the user based on the principle that they may have similar tastes.
Why is content curation used?
For most media site and online shops there are two clear reasons why content curation is used. The first is to keep users interested and this will often mean limiting what they see initially to the things that are most likely to grab their attention. The same goes for shopping sites where the site believes that it is more likely to get sales if it shows a user items that are similar or related to products or services they have bought before. The second is simply to limit the clutter of websites that have lots of information to provide by only showing the user information that is relevant to them. This tool can be handy for blog websites, RSS feeds and even newsgroups where there is huge amounts of data on offer. After a few visits to the site or feed it starts reviewing where the user has been and starts reducing the amount of information shown so only information that is related to what they have looked at shows.
How does content curation affect what a user gets to see?
Like any other tool that is designed to improve the overall experience a user gets when visiting a website there are good points and bad points. The good points are fairly obvious in that it makes it far easier for users to find what they need and it is more likely to give them information or show them things that they want to see and hide the stuff they don’t. The bad points are that this is not going to be the case for everyone and poorly designed content curation system are worse that using nothing at all to filter information.
When it comes to content curation the idea that a website knows best is not going to be to everyones taste and some users would prefer to see everything and filter it themselves. Also, a poorly designed content curation system is more likely to put most users off rather than keep them coming back for more.