A few weeks ago, Hilary Marsh and I had the opportunity to sit down (virtually, of course) with fusionSPAN’s Justin Burniske to talk all things content curation.
The conversation was based on Hilary’s and my recently released whitepaper, Cut Through the Clutter: Content Curation, Associations’ Secret Weapon Against Information Overload. We discussed topics such as:
- Why now? Why focus on content curation now, when there are so many pressures on association resources?
- What new opportunities does a virtual work environment present?
- What are the differences between active content curation and advanced search?
- Is effective curation push, pull, or both?
- What impact does a member paywall have on content curation strategy?
- What skills do staff members need to do content curation effectively?
You can get the full recording on your favorite podcast platform, or at the fusionSPAN website.
Did you miss the webinar Hilary Marsh (Content Company) and I gave last week on content curation and why your association needs to get on board with it to help your members and other audiences deal with information overload?
You’re in luck! Thanks to our host Impexium, there’s a free recording available at the Impexium website.
In the webinar, Hilary and I:
- Outline the problem of information overload.
- Discuss what content curation is – and isn’t.
- Share the Association Content Curation Maturity Model we developed (it’s the groovy image that’s the header for this post).
- Tie specific recommendations about what you can do right now to improve to the model.
Want to learn more?
Well, listen to the webinar of course. You can also download our free whitepaper on which it’s based, Cut Through the Clutter: Content Curation, Associations’ Secret Weapon Against Information Overload, just published this May.
That’s the bad news.
We’re all feeling a little overwhelmed by the volume and variety of information coming at us, having trouble determining what’s accurate and relevant, placing that information in meaningful context, and successfully using it to make sense of our increasingly complex world.
The good news is that you can help your members!
Hilary Marsh (Chief Strategist, Content Company) and I just released a new FREE whitepaper, Cut Through the Clutter: Content Curation, Associations’ Secret Weapon Against Information Overload, and on Wednesday, July 1, at 2 pm ET, we’re giving a FREE webinar about it.
In our session, you’ll learn how your association can use sophisticated content curation strategies effectively to move your association from a “nice-to-have” option into becoming a vital partner in your members’ professional success.
We’ll discuss what content curation is and isn’t, share the association content curation maturity model we developed in the process of our research, and provide concrete steps your association can take to curate internal and external information in a way that helps your members achieve their most important goals and solve their most pressing problems.
Thanks to the nice folks at Impexium for hosting!
If an association wants to move beyond mere aggregation and serve your members by providing real curation, what should you do?
To quote my co-author HilaryMarsh: “Stop trying to be Google.”
Quoting from our new whitepaper, Cut Through the Clutter: Content Curation, Associations’ Secret Weapon Against Information Overload,
Your association’s community is experiencing information overload in a time when it’s become increasingly difficult to assess the quality of that information due to the proliferation of sources and to the declining trust people have in traditional gatekeepers of information.
Piling on links to a bunch of stuff absent context isn’t going to help solve that problem. If your association really wants to get to the root of this for the people you serve, you are going to have to move beyond mere aggregation and use multiple methods to achieve distillation, or museum-style curation.
There are a number of things you’re going to have to do differently to achieve that, from letting go of your “we’re the best – the only relevant – source of information for our profession or industry” arrogance to interacting differently with your own content to hiring and training for different skills to changing your association’s orientation towards and relationship with your members and volunteers.
To find out more about how you achieve “curation greatness,” download the full whitepaper at https://bit.ly/34P5THr, no divulging of information about yourself required.
Associations use the term “content curation” frequently, but to quote the great Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Many times, when we’re using the term “content curation,” what we actually mean is “aggregation.” That is, pulling together a list of related links.
That is helpful for your members, in that you’ve at least reduced the number of pieces of information they should be paying attention to. But it’s shallow, and you can do so much more to help them.
When Hilary Marsh and I talk about “content curation” in our new whitepaper, Cut Through the Clutter: Content Curation, Associations’ Secret Weapon Against Information Overload, what we’re referring to is something more akin to what museum curators do, a process called distillation, in which the curator selects from the available items, brings those items together, puts them in context, and provides the perspective that helps the people viewing those items to find meaning and make sense of the topic by telling a coherent story.
Museums curate artifacts. Associations curate information.
You can help your members achieve their most important goals and solve their most pressing problems by curating information effectively.
To find out more about how you do that, download the full whitepaper at https://bit.ly/34P5THr, no divulging of information about yourself required.
This is probably not news to you, but we’re at an information crisis point.
Your members and other audiences are dealing with a flood of information during a time when the role of traditional information gatekeepers has become severely devalued. People are overwhelmed with information, much of it false or untrustworthy, and are increasingly unable to discern what is reliable and what is not.
Associations can help.
In the latest, just-released, hot off the presses (or at least Adobe InDesign) Spark collaborative whitepaper, Hilary Marsh (Content Company) and I propose content curation as associations’ secret weapon for helping our members surface relevant information and place it in the context they need to help them make sense of their increasingly complex personal and professional worlds.
Cut Through the Clutter: Content Curation, Associations’ Secret Weapon Against Information Overload opens by detailing the scope of the information crisis we’re currently facing, describes the key elements of effective content curation, and provides detailed, actionable steps that association executives can take to curate information effectively for your audiences.
The whitepaper includes:
- An association content curation maturity model.
- A case study with the Institute of Food Technologists.
- An interview with Carrie Hane and Dina Lewis, CAE, who co-authored the recent ASAE Foundation content strategy report, Association Content Strategies for a Changing World, with Hilary.
- An interview with Bryan Kelly, one of the founders of rasa.io and the publisher-in-chief of Smart Letter, discussing the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in content curation.
- A summary of the ASAE Foundation report, Association Content Strategies for a Changing World.
- A list of “how-to” guides and curation tools.
- A series of thought questions for you to use to spark discussion with your team.
- An extensive list of resources in case you want to dig deeper on any of the topics addressed.
I’ll be blogging about the whitepaper in the coming days, highlighting some of our major findings, but in the meantime I invite you to download your free copy at https://bit.ly/34P5THr – we don’t collect any data on you to get it, and you won’t end up on some mailing list you didn’t ask for. We just use the bit.ly as an easy mechanism to count the number of times it’s been downloaded.
And don’t forget to check out the other FREE Spark collaborative whitepapers, too:
- Blockchain for Associations: Separating the Hype from the Promise (PDF), co-authored with Shelly Alcorn, CAE, April 2019
- Steal This Idea! Innovations in Cause-Oriented Fundraising for Associations (PDF), co-authored with Sohini Baliga, December 2017
- Include Is a Verb: Moving from Talk to Action on Diversity and Inclusion (PDF), co-authored with Sherry Marts, PhD, S*Marts Consulting, May 2017
- The Association Role in the New Education Paradigm (PDF), co-authored with Shelly Alcorn, CAE, Alcorn Associates Management Consulting, August 2016
- Innovate the Lean Way: Applying Lean Startup Methodology in the Association Environment(PDF), co-authored with Guillermo Ortiz de Zarate, Director of Information Systems, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, October 2015
- Leading Engagement from the Outside-In: Become an Indispensable Partner in Your Members’ Success (PDF), co-authored with Anna Caraveli, PhD, The Demand Networks, May 2015
- Getting to the “Good Stuff”: Evidence-Based Decision Making for Associations (PDF), co-authored with Peter Houstle, Mariner Management, April 2014
- Risk: The Missing Link Connection Strategy to Implementation (PDF), co-authored with Jamie Notter, Human Workplaces, and Leslie White, Croydon Consulting, March 2014
- The Mission Driven Volunteer (PDF), co-authored with Peggy Hoffman, CAE, Mariner Management, August 2013
- Member Relations: An Association-Centric Approach to Customer Relationship Management(PDF), April 2013
- Attention Doesn’t Scale: The Role of Content Curation in Membership Associations (PDF), November 2012