Moving right along with our interview with Elin Silveous. In Part I, she shared her eight "S" factors for successful curation. Here she explains her nine "C" factors for deciding which content to use.
MG: Where and how do you gather content to curate?
ES: I gather content on- and offline from a wide range of people and organizations – reporters, editors, authors, newspapers, magazines, books, universities, websites, smart phone apps, health, technology conferences and meetings, lay people, research institutes, think tanks, non-profit organizations, professional societies, experts, start-ups, government agencies, family and friends, the backyard fence, corporations and yes, brands and advertising.
I often read news in the middle of the night and "favorite" it for sharing later when I'm more alert. During the day, I gather content from online news sources, webinars, teleconferences, TV, radio, and community member's posts on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook (but seldom, Facebook). I sort and catalog content on Twitter using recognized and recognizable hashtags.
MG: How do you decide what to use?
ES: My decisions about what to share are based on intuition, rooted in experience. Even so, nine "C's of consciousness" guide my decision making:
Credibility: Is the source and information credible? What impact will posting the content have on my (or your) credibility? (If in doubt, leave it out.)
Collaboration: Collaborate by citing your sources and giving credit to others. Expand collaboration by sharing your content and observations during live conferences and meetings during which numerous people build upon each other's posts.
Content: Curation is contingent upon content: No content, no curation. Will the content help people make more informed, confident decisions?
Communication: Curating and sharing content is more than just communicating headlines and links. A word or two of commentary added to a post can add color, clarification and context. Words matter. Pay attention to the tone, reading level, punctuation, spelling and clarity of your posts.
Caring: Caring is why I curate. If at the end of the day, I've helped at least one person become a more informed, empowered decision maker, then I've stayed true to my personal mission.
Community: Simply posting content, whether original or curated, does not create community. Fostering community via social media takes time, attention and deliberate action. I do this by responding to every @ElinSilveous post, even if it's snarky. If I inadvertently trip over a troll, I will end the exchange after the second communication. (Neither I, nor you, are obligated to carry on a dialogue with anyone.). I also participate in and foster community through active sharing during Twitter chats and by using hashtags in between scheduled chats.
Context: Context is king and must be considered with each and every post. If a Tweet or post can be taken out of context, add clarification by using bracketed words. For example, sometimes a published article's headline will actually contradict the content of the article. Again, adding words or a phrase in brackets adds context and enhances clarity. Sometimes, too, the use of hashtags can add context, as well as reach.
Channel: Twitter is my channel of choice because of its speed. But there are many channels for distributing curated content: blogging sites, Pinterest, Instagram, SecondLife, Facebook, Google+, Google Hangouts, Reddit, among others.
Commerce: Rarely do I directly promote a product or service unless its extraordinary. And though I wish all of my curated content did not link to sites with ads, the reality is that sometimes, they do. I strive to identify sources that are not commercial. But I think most people understand that the collaborative nature of social media is the give and take, and that publishers need to stay in business. However, there's a world of non-commercial resources for credible content such as university research departments, CDC, and the NIH, among others.
MG: How do you use scheduling tools?
ES: I rarely use scheduling tools, preferring instead to report and curate "live" on Twitter. Live microblogging offers the benefit of facilitating engagement and communication with followers. Scheduled tweets, though they have a purpose, are more static.
Among those whose approach differs from mine is well-known marketer Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple. His team of curators tweets often. Each tweet is repeated four times a day. Kawasaki laughs at criticism that he "tweets too much." His strategy works for him. And it works for many others, so check out his strategy for curation and tweeting here.