The current content curation landscape is quite vast and rather complex. What started out as a limited number of vendors 5 years ago is now a consortium of perhaps 60 and more platforms.
What makes this ecosystem hard to decipher partly comes from the fact vendor now incorporate curation capabilities into software packages that are marketed differently from one another. “Note-taking”, “feed management”, “content discovery” solutions now often come with curation features.
Of course as one might expect, the extend of such capabilities vary quite a bit from one package to another. For that very reason, I would like to showcase five platforms that I think bring real value to their respective users.
Paper.li is often marketed and referred to as an “online newspaper platform” that allows to curate content in magazine or newspaper style templates. In my opinion, the platform has come a long way since its beginning and is now quite versatile (for example it can be integrated within your website).
Many users appreciate how easy it is to utilize automation features, which allows to curate topics based on specific keywords.
The Paper.li team has recently revamped many of the “newspaper” templates, I personally find such aesthetically quite pleasing.
Evernote is one of the most popular note-taking platforms and comes with solid content curation workflows. You can either “grab” webpages with a one-click button(through a Chrome extension) or create a new blank note and use the CTRL+C / CTRL+V commands on your keyboard. Your note with the transferred content will then be saved in a folder which you can name for a specific topic (and obviously re-use as you go along).
Besides these very efficient workflows, I am very impressed with the collaboration features which makes it very easy to share your notes and folders with other fellow users.
Furthermore Evernote allows you to sync saved content across a number of devices in a seamless fashion.
The thing that I’m not too crazy about is the quality of the rendering of curated content in your notes. Sometimes the placement of tabular information and graphics is altered and such have to be manually edited by the user later on.
Another aspect to consider is that Evernote is quite limited when it comes to syndication to external environments, that being said the platform was mostly conceived to be used internally.
Tumblr is one of the grand daddies of blogging platforms for the lack of a better term. I always perceived Tumblr as an “hybrid”: part blog, part social media, part curation.
Tumblr has a great user interface that is extremely intuitive and comes with countless customizable templates. The curation process itself is extremely simple: either copy and past a webpage url or “like” an item from the internal feeds.
Unlike most competitors, Tumblr’s classification framework is uniquely based on folksonomy. In my opinion this makes saved content more difficult to find once archived. A robust repository framework would be a great addition.
From a marketing perspective, Tumblr has always attracted younger crowds. That means content discovery when it comes to business and politics for example might be somewhat limited (though there are sizable “mature” communities such as opensource software enthusiasts).
Pressly is a platform marketed as enterprise grade. It is based on”hubs”, which are communities of curators. It comes with a variety of collaboration features and can accommodate a larger number of users.
The curation process is smooth yet intuitive (somewhat similar to Tumblr). It is good to note the platform is blazing fast and counts prestigious clients such Deloitte, Avaya and The Economist.
As great as Pressly is, it is not a cheap solution and starts at 499 USD per month for a basic account as of June 9, 2016.
Often described as a direct competitor of Tumblr, Pinterest is another “hybrid” platform: part content discovery, part photo sharing, part social media network.
The curation process is based on an ingenious framework: “pins” (a curated item) can be added to a board (essentially a folder). As one might expect such is extremely simple. Similar to Evernote, you can “grab” webpages in just one click through a button. One of the biggest advantage of using Pinterest versus other platforms is the flexibility of the “board” system. Once can merge two board into a single entity as well as creating sub-boards.
That being said the platforms suffers from a few limitations: the majority of content shared in Pinterest is graphical assets (images, infographics) which makes discovery limited if you are not looking for such in particular. Customization is rather minimal when it comes to your main page, and not to underestimate: registration is required for use (you cannot make any of your boards available to external users).
I hope my write up through these examples of various curation platforms gave you valuable insights.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.