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Content Curation: Should I Share This?

If you share stuff online, then you do content curation. But are you sharing worthwhile content?

The following ten questions come from Srividya Kumar at eLearning Industry. These are the essential questions you need to ask for effective content curation (the editorial comments below are ours):

1. How recent is the information?

(Criteria: Currency)

Many writers use present tense along with time markers like “now,” “just,” and “recently.” Casual readers may assume that these markers are current, but a close look at the article date may reveal otherwise.

2. Is it current enough for the topic?

(Criteria: Currency)

Even recent articles may still be out of date or irrelevant in today’s speedy news cycle. Viral content can quickly become passé, so make sure that what you’re sharing will be appreciated.

3. What kind of information is included in the content?

(Criteria: Relevance, Reliability)

Beware of sharing articles before you read them in their entirety. From beginning to end, the content should be relevant and informed. Avoid burdening your audience with extra content that doesn’t matter.

4. Is the information meaningful/useful for the audience?

(Criteria: Relevance)

Unfollowing is too easy to risk annoying your audience with irrelevant content. Anyone doing content curation must have a filter.

5. Who is the creator or author? What is their expertise on the topic, and what are their credentials?

(Criteria: Authority, Reliability)

The content you’re sharing should come from qualified sources. Be careful about curating content from people who aren’t an authority in their field.

6. Who is the publisher or sponsor? Are they reputable?

(Criteria: Authority, Reliability)

Some content creators have ulterior motives. Is that newsfeed photo asking you to tell everyone what your first car was actually from a hacker collecting answers to account recovery questions? Probably.

7. What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?

(Criteria: Authority, Reliability)

Most articles are written with some sort of financial or political motivation. Thousands of websites use curiosity-inspiring, alluring, or inflammatory headlines to attract advertising clicks and are not motivated by providing real value. Know the difference.

8. Is it primarily data or opinion? If it’s the latter, is it balanced?

(Criteria: Purpose/Point of View)

If an article has reliable data with adequate explanation, then you’re probably okay. On the other hand, be leery of promoting overly biased opinions without evidence.

9. Does the author provide references or sources for data or quotations?

(Criteria: Purpose/Point of View, Reliability)

Quality content cites its sources. And just because claims have links, that doesn’t mean the links are reputable. Confirm the sources before you hitch your own reputation to someone else’s claims.

10. Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

(Criteria: Purpose/Point of View, Reliability)

This isn’t a deal-breaker, as some reputable companies offer valuable information in order to gain credibility. However, don’t trust sales content built on fear-mongering or slander. And obviously, use wisdom in your content curation efforts when sharing content from direct competitors.

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