Tried and True Tools for Managing Content
Reading about blogging best practices, it’s clear the tide is turning toward making sense of all the good (and bad) stuff generated by bazillions of people creating content on the web for mass consumption. The reality of time constraints – admittedly different for each one – means most of us are constantly running behind the machine trying to keep up with the pace of information flow. Of course, we can Google, Bing or otherwise search our hearts out. But who’s got time?
What's needed is a way to receive, organize and re-purpose posts and articles so we can easily share content with our community. Content curation, written about by Beth Kanter and others, is the new buzz word and rapidly developing practice for people who take the time to read, sort, sift and republish information as a means of developing thought leadership on the web.
Recently, I’ve been making good use of three terrific tools available to help with my own content curation efforts. While far from cutting edge (if you want new, go to Pinterest or Gentlemint. But that’s another blog post), these tools are perfect for funneling content in an organized, filtered way that makes finding and sharing good content more efficient.
Google Alerts is a simple way to list a topic, term or name in a search field to be notified by email whenever that term shows up on line or in traditional media. You choose what type of alerts you want to receive - news, video, books, blogs, discussion or all of the above. And you can choose to be notified as it happens, once a day or once a week. So, the flow of information can be managed according to your schedule needs.
Google Reader has been my go-to topic content provider for some time, with it’s simple search feature and the ability to show blog posts on my iGoogle Home page, via email or in the Google reader interface. Google Reader allows you to subscribe, organize and consume blog posts on topics of interest in an a la carte menu kind of way.
Perusing posts by topic is so much easier when you have one screen listing blogs of most interest to you. What’s new. What’s been read. How many posts have been made. Blog by blog. Topic by topic. Very easy and organized.
Finally, my current curation tool of choice is Alltop, the brainchild of Apple expat and online marketing guru Guy Kawasaki. Alltop is Google Reader on steroids, offering the benefit of Alltop curators - information sifters - bringing you the best of the web all day everyday on trending topics of most interest.
I’ve posted and shared from Alltop’s Holy Kaw listings more than from any other online information source I’ve found. It’s just cool stuff.
Even better is My Alltop, which mimics Google Reader in allowing you to choose topics of most interest to you and your readers. So whatever industry you’re in – candle making, neuroscience, my favorite, marketing, – My Alltop makes suggestions of the best of the web which you can then subscribe to and read regularly as new content is created.
Google Alerts, Google Reader and Alltop are among the best useful, free resources available to help make the most of your online content creation efforts. All three go a long way toward decreasing the noise of web. And they're better than a pair of ear muffs.