What exactly is "curation" and how does it relate to web video marketing? To find out, I spoke to several curation experts. They explain why they consider it the best way to blend work relationships between machines and human beings to deliver rich and relevant video content to your audience; and why those who expect to be successful web marketers will also need to learn how to be successful video curators.
What Is Video Curation?
"Curation" is a word that's traditionally been reserved for the likes of a director of an art gallery or museum – basically, someone with the professional expertise and recognition to qualitatively select, organize, and look after the items in a collection or exhibition. Steve Rosenbaum, founder of the video curation service Magnify.net and author of Curation Nation, has offered his own updated definition of a curator as "someone who is deeply familiar with their areas of expertise.”
Fellow curation expert Clinton Forry at content-ment.com said "curation goes one step beyond aggregation by adding an active, ongoing editorial component.” Here's his explanation of the process:
- Curation involves, in some part, a manual task
- Curation starts with sources to parse
- Content is evaluated individually based on established editorial criteria
- Content is weighted based on context, current events, branding, sentiment, etc.
- Approved content is published on appropriate schedule
Here's my own addition to Clinton's list: A curator reviews audience and user feedback to the curated content, for consideration into any revisions of future content curation.
Why We Need Curation (and Curators) for our Web Experience
Curation on the Web is basically "filtering the signal from the noise." Here are a few excerpts and key points on that subject which I've "curated" from an excellent article by Christopher S. Penn:
- We're flooded with more and more information every day. "There are more blogs to read, more people to follow, more research papers to digest, than ever before." says Penn. "Consumers face glut of information every time they open a web browser.”
- Search engines are not enough. "Search engine algorithms merely present us with a slightly smaller haystack in which to find the needles we're looking for." says Penn. "As the web gets noisier, the signal-to-noise ratio gets harder for a technology to solve without a final analysis by a human.”
- Human experts are needed. "Our response to this tidal wave of data has been to turn to aggregators and curators, people and organizations that can filter, interpret, highlight, or suppress selected parts of the data wave for us so that we can get something useful out of it." says Christopher. Steve also concurs with this point by adding, "as the web gets noisier, the signal-to-noise ratio gets harder for a technology to solve without a final analysis by a human.”
I would also add that Web curators are most valuable (and most differentiated from traditional curators) when they provide audiences with "recency." A web curator's expertise and value depends on the ability to gather the most recent news in their field of expertise, and have that regularly updated an curated for their audience.
Curation is especially needed for Web Video. YouTube statistics report of 35 hours of new video being uploaded every minute, more than 13 million hours of video uploaded in all of 2010, and more video has been uploaded to YouTube in the past 60 days than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years.
Curation Tools for Web Video Marketing
"Curation [tools] can work well for companies that realize the importance of having a lot of videos with quality content, but simply don't have the resources (budget, crew, time, etc.) to create them on their own." says Steve. While you don't absolutely need any aggregation tools to do your own curation of video the Web, it's proven to be a most effective and time-saving way of gathering content based on established criteria, and have that content regularly delivered to us in our own feeds (such as RSS/MRSS, email, automated searches, Facebook wall posts, and the like.)
We at ReelSEO are curators of video content for marketing and other business or professional activities. We constantly are on the lookout for interesting and relevant video content, which we find from both machine aggregators (feeds, search engines, etc.) and from word-of-mouth (either mass appeal or from our fellow human curators). We then add our own editorial content, our SEO and social optimization work, and sometimes we may even re-edit the original video to include something of our own.
Our own tv.reelseo.com video feed is one such aggregator source, and many of our blog posts will feature video from aggregators (like trusted video sites, channels or networks; or trusted news and expert sites that may feature video; and sometimes just by doing knowledgeable keyword searches on.
Stayed Tuned for More of My Interview with Magnify's Steve Rosenbaum…
Steve talked with me about his book, Curation Nation – which he described to me as "275 pages of absolute, hands-on, news you can use, ways to become a curator, and ways to bring curation into your business. Plus it includes interviews with some of the smartest curators on the planet." Steve and I will delve into how curation can best apply to an online marketing strategy, some real-life and familiar examples in business today, and our own DIY tips on web video curation for your own business goals.