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Digital Curation: What it Means to Affiliates
President MechMedia, Inc.
Has been a publisher for years. He has built a lot of websites.
You get a great idea, buy a domain, install wordpress, and then you stop. Why?
Creating content is hard, it is not for everybody. Even if you are a writer coming up with stuff on a regular basis is tough.
The other is you put up your best stuff and nobody is listening. You can only do that for so long.
If you keep it up long enough you can gain an audience, but hard to get there.
Why are you starting this website? Because you want to write about an awesome topic is not enough. Your website or blog should serve a purpose. It should have a topic that is sizeable enough to build an audience.
It should solve a problem or fulfill a need.
You can not rely on chance.
Curation solves a few of those problems. It makes coming up with content a little easier and solves the problem of why you are doing it.
What is digital curation?
Curation traditionally means someone who collects information or things that go into a collection in a museum or zoo.
Digital curation is the same thing but online. You have a topic and you are going to go out the find the best stuff out on the internet.
It is human nature to share.
Steven Rosenbaum – Magnify.net is a video curation platform. Also wrote Curation Nation.
Example is someone built a collection of Susan Boyle videos.
Robert Scoble – Works for Rackspace – Scobleizer is his blog. He is into real time stuff.
Robin Good – MasterNewMedia.org – he is from Italy and is passionate about online curating.
All these sites and services started cropping up.
-Qrait, Pinterest, Posterous Spaces, Storify, Quora, Kurat, Curata, delicious (evolved to this), Scoop.it, pearltrees, Bo.lt, magnify.net
As much as curation is about pulling things together, it is also about organizing information.
If you want to try it out then Scoop.it is probably the best one to try right now.
He also plugs his own Shareist.com
Why is Curation Critical?
If we just leave it to google then we are missing out on a lot of stuff.
Information Discovery Spectrum
Random to Specific
Aggregation is not Curation
-something to keep in mind – it is tempting to automate, find an RSS site and not filter it manually – diminishing the value of what you do though. Resist the temptation.
Choose a Topic
-pick one that solves a problem, that you are fulfilling a need to an audience out there.
Create a Profile of Your Ideal Fan
-picture who they are, think very specifically about who they are. How old are they, what kind of car do they drive, how much money do they make? Give them a name. Everything that you do for that site, you should act like you are talking to them. It is more personal.
Discover Great Content and Organize It
-it is not necessarily going to be one topic, you can organize them separately. You do not want to be too vague.
Publish and Distribute
-the biggest mistake the affiliate make is that they act on the single focus of getting people coming in, click the link and set the cookie. You are missing out on the opportunity for them to become a customer of yours, become your fan. The next time they are looking for something they are going to go to Google again. Getting them to become your customer should be your first goal.
-there are many tools out there to curate, but make sure you publish to something that you own as a hub. You want to use the service to drive traffic to something that you own. Do distribute to your social networks and emails.
Engage With Your Audience
-this should be part of your overall strategy
-write content in a way that gets them to engage with you, ask them for feedback. Send out emails and ask them to reply to you. That trains your audience to respond to you.
What audience can you build?
He is known as the tv repair guy. He bought a samsung dlp television and 4 years later it broke. He took it apart and fixed it. His affiliate mind decided to blog about the repair, step by step. The post took over the blog. It dwarfed all traffic on his blog. Thousands of comments. He was making a lot of money with an affiliate link to this part. Now the traffic is dying out because the tv doesn’t really exist. He didn’t do anything to capture those users as a fan. He should have put a newsletter together. He should have put an image of the customer together.
Is curation a viable SEO strategy?
-if you are adding value and solving a problem, and people like it, then Google will pick it up and you will rank – the goal is to always create something unique. Everything that you curate, you should add your own perspective to it. Plus the way you organize it is unique.
Where is the line between curation and new content?
He thinks there is a spectrum. It is a publishing model. We all get content from elsewhere.
Example of Digital Curators who do an excellent job?
-he thinks this is a personal thing, so hard to answer. His favorite is his business partner.
Is curation the same thing as blogging?
-you can curate on a blog. It is the type of publishing that you are doing. When you are writing about stuff that you come up with that is creation. Talking about things that you find elsewhere is curation.