Curata recently released its 2018 Guide to Effectively & Ethically Curating Content. The guide explains the importance of curating content, and how to do it correctly. It’s a useful resource when evaluating your content curation strategy. And if you are not currently curating content, it can help you develop a content curating strategy to promote your brand.
What is Content Curation?
Content curation is the process of finding and sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific topic in a meaningful, ethical, and legal manner.
For example, sharing a social media post, profile update, video, or image that you deem important to your social network is a form of content curation. And in the best-case scenario, you add value by also commenting in a meaningful way when sharing the content.
You can take it one step further by also writing an article when sharing the content, as we are doing here, that is meaningful to your social network. The article can bring value by helping your network digest and understand the curated content more easily, expanding upon important points discussed in the curated content, while also making your network aware of the content’s publication.
Overview of the 2018 Guide
Curata’s 2018 guide touches on the most important aspects of content curation for individuals and businesses.
#1 Ethics of Content Curation
There is a right and wrong way to curate content. Though some circumstances may present gray areas in online ethics, many content creation guidelines are clearly black and white, especially those surrounding curation and attribution for work.
Suggestion: Stay out of the gray areas. Make sure you give clear attribution to the content creator and encourage readers to go to the original content to learn more about the topic.
#2 Defining Safe Legal Boundaries
Content curators should be diligent to obey copyright laws, ensuring that they follow Fair Use guidelines. Though the guidelines can be ambiguous at times, they lay out the groundwork for when and where Fair Use can be applied, and in what circumstances it’s appropriate to use someone else’s work.
Information from Creative Commons is very helpful when curating content. Creative Commons is an organization that provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to creators of all types of creative works. Content curators can refer to these licenses to understand in which situations it is appropriate to share a creator’s work, and what attribution is required.
Suggestion: Curata discusses legal boundaries at length in their 2018 guide. Use their guide to ensure that you legally and ethically curate content.
#3 Developing Best Practices
Curata discusses their 12 best-practice tips for curating content in their 2018 guide.
Their 12 tips will help you develop and curate content in a legal and ethical manner that is interesting to your social network. The tips cover everything from sourcing content to attributions while ensuring that curated content is beneficial to your audience.
Suggestion: Download Curata’s guide, memorize the 12 best-practice tips, and live by them.
#4 Link Frames, Share Bars, and iFrames
Link frames, share bars, and iFrames are tools some less ethical content curators use to try and retain website traffic when sharing curated content.
A link frame and share bar are similar. When a website visitor clicks on a link and goes to a page on a different website, there is a branded overlay with links that take the user back to the referring website.
A link frame typically adds a fixed header or footer (or both) to the page that is shared. The link frame can include the branding of the referring website, with the goal of driving the user back to the referring website.
A share bar hovers over the shared article, displaying the branding of the referring website, with the goal of driving the user back to the referring website.
An iFrame is used to embed a page from another website, so the user does not leave the original website to read the content. Though iFrames have very important uses in web design, they can also be used to practically steal content from other websites.
Suggestion: Learn from the best websites, and do not use link frames, share bars, or iFrames when linking to a page of another website you do not own, or you do not have an agreement to engage in this linking technique. In our opinion, it is unethical at best.
#5 Links to Curated Content Should be “Follow” Links
Links to the original content that you curate should give the website displaying the original content as much credit as possible, so links to the website should be “follow” links.
A “follow” link requests search engines to follow the link to the original content, giving the web page of the original content more SEO credit.
A “nofollow” link includes html markup that requests search engines not to follow the link to the web page of the original content. This, in essence, does not give the web page of the original content as much SEO credit.
If the link does not include the “nofollow” markup (i.e., rel=”nofollow”), a search engine by default is requested to follow the link to the website.
Suggestion: Ensure that links to the original content are “follow” links.
Takeaways from Curata’s Guide
Content curation is an excellent way to share third-party information to your audience. It’s important, therefore, to understand how to legally and ethically curate content to the benefit of your audience and the originator of the content.
Curata’s 2018 Guide to Effectively & Ethically Curating Content outlines the basic components of curating content, which will help you evaluate and develop a content curation strategy.