What should you look for in a Content Curation tool?

Content Curation is a step up to bookmarking and sharing content on the Internet.

There are two separate and yet equally important phases to content curation, discovery and sharing!

To stay objective with the review of our own tools, I have chose this post by Robin Good, where he defines the criteria for selecting the right curation solution.

KBucket and Kurator feature set

We offer 2 curation tools.  KBrowser is a Firefox extension and Kurator is the Chrome extension.

KBrowser, offers a totally new interface for the browser, for pinning and grouping your tabs.

KBrowser offers special folders called curation folders for curating your research.

Kurator is a Chrome add-on, that enhances you bookmark manager and let’s you curate articles into curation folders.

Both solutions let you organize and share your content via KBucket pages.

Import and Export Functions

Curators have a need to import and export either their own research (from other platforms) or that of others, into their system to save time. 

Our tool is currently able to import RSS feeds and export XML, Curation folders as portal files.

QuestionsAnswers
Can the tool import/export existing collections or streams?The answer is yes. Kurator and KBrowser can share folders. KBrowser has more functions for importing streams.
Which import/export formats are supported (RSS, XML, CSV, PDF, etc.) KBrowser can import RSS feeds and then copy the links to "curation folders". KBrowser and Kurator can share their own files, among themselves.
Does the tool support OPML import/export? OMPL files are a version of XML files. We plan to add this capability in the future, but do not currently support this feature.

Importing is important when you are collaborating with other’s and want to share research among yourselves.

Exporting, is essential for sharing your content with your co-workers, but also with the larger public.

KBucket is how we publish our curated content to the web.

Both Kurator and KBrowser support this feature.

How many ways are available to organize your content?

The answers here, apply to KBrowser and Kurator for curating information and KBucket for hosting the curated content.

QuestionsAnswers
Channels, Content Tags, Publisher Tags, Author TagsKBrowser and Kurator let you Organize your content in folders (Channels), add your own description, content tags, publisher and Author info.
How many Levels are availableYou can create an infinite number of channels (Folders). When publishing to KBucket you can organize your Channels into Groups. Each channel can be navigated with Content, Publisher, Author tags, and sorted by date and author
Can you Nest?Yes, you can nest n-times in Kurator and KBrowser, and two levels in KBucket.
Can you copy/move curated items between collections /streamsYes, the power of Kurator and KBrowser, is in its flexibility to move links around. Similar to how you do this in your file system.
Can you duplicate collections to create subsets? Yes, easily. Again this is similar to your file system. Simply Cut, Copy, Paste between folders.
Can you create subsets easily?Yes, working with links in Kurator and KBrowser is very easy.

The reason Robin asks for these features is apparent once you start curating. 

Curation is a process.  You start with an idea and a purpose like curating articles on content marketing, or curating the US election. 

But once you get started, you often find that your needs change. 

For example, you may decide that you want to add new channels to your content marketing like SEO, inbound marketing, or paid marketing.

You research is fluid, and your ideas on how to organize your content will change all the time.

Its really important to have the flexibility to easily re-organize as you grow!

What are the search capabilities?

Curators as researchers need powerful tools for searching the web and their own content.

Here I believe we have a distinct advantage over competing tools. 

I don’t believe any one tool can master all the different searchers required by all curators.

I think it’s more important to give users the flexibility to integrate access to their favorite tools, rather than try to compete with every vendor in the market.

KBrowser offers some powerful capabilities to organizing access to your favorite tools, and accessing each in its own window.

With Kurator, your can organize your tools in a special folder for quick access.

QuestionsAnswers
Can you search for content from within the content curation tool?We can search for content we have curated. KBrowser let's you search the tabs, rss feeds you are subscribed to and curation folders that contain your research.
What sources can you search? (Google, Flickr, YouTube, etc.)Users can curate and integrate any source with KBrowser and Kurator. With KBrowser, each source is pinned to its own tab, so you can quickly navigate between sources and easily add your findings to your research. With Kurator you can curate sources in their own folders and quickly access them.
What "types" of content can you search (text, images, video, tweets, etc.)?As you are integrating access to any third party source inside of KBrowser and Kurator, you can theoretically search anything.
Can you easily drag & drop search results into your curated work?Yes, you can curate and organize in the same step. KBrowser lets you pin each folder in a separate window, and Kurator lets you choose the folder for saving the article.

What is your Content Discovery process

Discovery is obviously an important part of the curation process.

Again, I feel its more important to integrate access to your best tools, instead of trying to compete with every tool out there.

Depending on the type of curation you will have different needs.

As a content marketer, you will probably be using tools like ahrefs, nuzzel, buzzsumo, or drum up, but as a journalist, you may just want access to tens of news sites, setup alerts, or use services like LexisNexis, or Factiva to perform your research.

Our tools make it easy to integrate access to any tool of your choice and organize it the way you work.

These questions are simply an introduction to what you should consider when curating content.

QuestionsAnswers
Can you create "persistent searches"? You can use services like Google Alert, Nuzzel, or Drumup to define your terms and have news delivered to your channels. With KBrowser you can pin each site to its own tab and organize it in its own group. Kurator let's you save your sources in a designated folder for quick access.
Can you designate what sources to tap? This depends on the tools you are using. Services like Lexis Nexis, will offer you that capability.
Can you subscribe and monitor any RSS feed? KBrowser let's you subscribe to RSS feeds. You can also use a free service like feedly and access the feeds in the cloud.
Is it possible to import an OPML file? We don't support OPML files. Plan to add this in the future.
Can the tool suggest relevant content based on your past activity? We do not offer our own discovery tools, but many of the tools I mentioned offer this feature.
Can the tool suggest relevant content based on your network of contacts? This process is more a manual process, where you follow influencers and curators, to discover the best content. Both KBrowser and Kurator make it easy to integrate access to tens of sites, and quickly access them.
Can you filter incoming content by keywords, hashtags, users, popularity, relevance, date, language?Many content aggregation services offer powerful filtering tools to achieve all of your objectives. I have mentioned a few of them in this post.

Editing, Formatting and sharing your content

So far we have looked at the discovery process, but what are the considerations for sharing content.

The following table deals with questions of editing content during the curation process.

QuestionsAnswers
Does the tool allow to fully edit the content being curated? Both KBrowser and Kurator scrape Title, URL, Image URL, Description, Publisher, Author and content tags and allow you to edit and modify all!
Is it possible to edit/correct/revise the original image?The program scrapes the image, you can modify the image, by changing the URL, or, when you upload change the image with one of your own.
Is it possible to edit the actual content?We provide a link to the content and let the curator change the headline and description
Is it possible to format it?The text editor is an HTML editor, so users can edit and add images and tables for their own use, but during upload the text formatting is removed.

This table deals with your shared curated content.

QuestionsAnswers
Can you select between different display formatsOn the multi-user site you can choose between a grid and list view. The WordPress plugin only offers a grid view.
Are there different quality display templates to choose from?For the WordPress plugin, you can customize your look & feel to match your site. For the Multi-user site, there is only one format.
Can you re-arrange and juxtapose content items in your collection / stream in the way you want? You can filter the content with topic, author and publisher tags. You can also sort by date, author and headline.
Is it possible to "feature" individual items? You can share each item individually through social media, to drive traffic back to your collection.
Can you easily jump to different points of the collection? The collection is organized into groups and channels, defined by you. You can easily jump between groups and use tags to filter the content you want.
s the curated content yours and sitting on your servers or is it "owned" and controlled by someone else?First the curated content is on your own browser, so you always have full control and ownership. With the WordPress plugin you are hosting the curated content. The Multi-user KBucket.com site will host your curated content on our site.
What rights do they claim on your curated work? Our content is distributed under the fair use license.

Conclusion

Curation is a creative endeavor.  Flexibility is paramount. There is no one tool out there that can offer the best discovery in every domain.  That’s why we offer a system that let’s you integrate access to your desired tools.

Most of us today work with multiple sites at the same time to complete tasks. Its not uncommon for users to open tens of tabs and access multiple sites to execute on a single task.

Furthermore, curation project grow, and it is vital that curated content is indexable and navigable to provide the desired value.

KBrowser, Kurator, and KBucket are all designed to offer the curator flexibility and ease of use.