I’ve been thinking a lot about content curation after listening to Jason Rudman, director of Amex’s OPENForum.com, speak at the ANA Social Media Forum. For more on this topic also check out this excellent piece. And for some additional insights, see Steve Rubel’s recent thoughts. Content curation (love the mellifluous sound) is aggregation under the watchful eye of an expert. It’s a collection of digital content that someone with authority says is worth reading. Call it a Web 2.0 version of Reader’s Digest in multiple flavors for the web.Now there is an important difference between curation and outright stealing. Some blogs seem to exist primarily by taking content lock stock and barrel from publisher sites and at the end of the complete article list the source. Curation needs to add value. And it needs to provide some perspective on the article or at least summarize it for easy reading.To see a good example of “curation in action,” check out The New York Times’ “Room for Debate, a Running Commentary of the News” blog. There The Times not only digests the hot topics of the day but also includes expert reactions to the issues. Suddenly we’re part of a very smart conversation and a diversity of opinions. What could be better?All of which brings me to B2B brands. For too long B2B brands (and I am as guilty in my business as any) act like they exist in a vacuum. Of course, B2B brands have partners, but many do little with their partners to advance the public conversation. Guilty of navel-gazing, many can’t get away from touting their own wares. Why can’t B2B brands, along with their partners (or by themselves for that matter) curate topics in their industry?Let me give you an example. Research firm Information Resources Inc., (IRI) offers a weekly digest of the latest retail news using content from MorningNewBeat.com and branding it as “Weekly Retail News from IRI.”MorningNewBeat.com, a retail aggregator, provides its own unique slant, offering up not only a daily brew of the day’s news, but also commentary, or as the site puts it, “Retail News In Context, Analysis with Attitude.” Engaging, the site encourages it readers to comment on stories, and according to publisher Kevin Coupe, gets 50 to 75 comments or emails a day and numbers some 25,000 readers.What can you do to curate the news and issues for your customers/clients? I’d love to hear from you.Wendy Marx, B2B PR and Branding Specialist, Marx Communications, Inc. Technorati tags: public relations, B2B public relations, digital curation, branding
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