Whether you’re outlining a roundup post for your blog, drafting a company newsletter or piecing together a content calendar, curation is a critical step in the writing process. And you don’t have to tell us – we understand finding content that is not only relevant, but high quality, can take a whole lot of time. With millions of news outlets, blogs and social media profiles in the online world to pluck information from, it sure would be nice if there was a tool or two that gathered and filtered such content (and delivered it in a nice package to boot). Oh wait, there is something like that. Lots of things. Well, thank heavens!
Here are some of our favorite content curation tools that do a bang up job of gathering relevant articles, posts and social media bits – all in a timely manner. Plus, they’re all free, which we love. So bookmark these sites, start curating and go ahead and save some time while you’re at it.
Great for social curation: LikeHack and Storify
LikeHack aggregates your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn content, along with posts from your favorite blogs. Its search function is superb, allowing you to dig into old posts and Tweets for those ideas you swore you wouldn’t forget about.
Storify allows users to search for and piece together publically available content from Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube and other sites (so you don’t necessarily have to be following, or friends with, the people posting in order for the tool to gather the content). It’s perfect for finding social tidbits surrounding a trending topic or event, along with analyzing how people are reacting to news items.
Great for news gathering: Alltop and TalkWalker
Alltop is a website that gathers and organizes news items according to specific topics. For example, if you want to keep up with the worlds of automobiles (or martial arts, locavores or knitting), Alltop aggregates the latest news from both well-known outlets and less-frequented, but still relevant, sources that cover the topic.
TalkWalker is a free alert service. While Google Alerts have long been a favorite in this niche, it’s recently had some problems and many fear it may be following Reader to the grave. No worries, TalkWalker is a great alternative, delivering free, real-time alerts via email or RSS.
Great for blog reading: Feedly
Speaking of Google apps going away, Feedly is the beautiful alternative to Reader. It’s not quite as intuitive, but it displays all of your favorite blog posts in an aesthetically pleasing style and allows you to tag and categorize for later browsing. It can also be used for news, but its visual nature lends itself nicely to blogs.
Good for… all the other things: Scoop.it, Pinterest and List.ly
Scoop.it gathers content from niche magazines around the web, perfect for sourcing well-written articles on obscure topics.
Pinterest is your visually rich content go-to. Look to it for not only strong pictures, but stand out infographics as well.
List.ly is a curation tool that uses lists as a metaphor, and is great for using on blogs. Why? Because you can create a list say, of Top 10 curation tools on the List.ly site, embed it in your blog and it becomes an interactive tool that both you and your readers can update. Basically, it means that your list has the potential to live on for a long time and never become outdated.
What are your favorite content curation tools? Why do you like them?
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