Victory has many fathers.
Today I received an email from Tumblr notifying me that The Future Journalism Project is now three years old. Although the news passed with little fanfare, I’m extremely proud to be its first contributor.
Originally launched by brothers Michael and Peter Cervieri, The Future Journalism Project was envisioned as a multiplatform documentary exploring disruptions and opportunities in media and journalism professions. With grand ambitions and humble roots, The Future Journalism Project has grown to 110,000 followers on Tumblr, including most of the world’s leading media organizations. More than 24,000 people follow FJP’s updates on Twitter.
The skills of a curator
While some argue that “curation” is another name stealing and repackaging other people’s news, a skillful curator adds value by providing timely insight and analysis. The explosive growth of the FJP audience over the past three years speaks to the need it fulfills.
Whether curating information about the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, or gyrations in journalism employment, the FJP team was always on the story.
A robust, free press is of paramount importance to the needs of a functioning Democracy. In our small way, I’d like to think that the FJP team helped share news about newsmakers to members of the media, and those who wish to take part. And in our way, we are thought leaders.
Curation for thought leadership
Curation is a powerful way to establish thought leadership. More to the point, a well-executed curation strategy will attract your ideal audience like flies to honey. A quick scan of FJP followers on Twitter reveals a high concentration of staff reporters, freelance journalists, journalism students, and social media managers.
It’s vital to know at a glance which news items are important contributions to a larger and ongoing conversation. The ability to pick out the most noteworthy events is the cornerstone of thought leadership. Anyone can be a thought leader, but few have the discipline to see it through. More about that in a second
Curation for startups
Startups have few true believers when they begin their journey into the unknown. The founding team starts with a vision, but to reach the goal they will have to enroll supporters and customers. Establishing yourself early as a thought leader is one way to bring people to your side, and curation is a great public relations tactic for this purpose.
Being the voice of your industry, and analyzing the important day-to-day happenings proves to potential customers that you know what you’re talking about. News curation also reinforces your value to existing customers and partners.
Curating for investors
When you’re pitching to investors you have to select the most relevant facts about your company and market to include in your presentation. There simply isn’t time for every piece of information that someone might find interesting about your startup. By understanding the needs of your audience, you can curate the best news on their behalf, and become a subject matter expert they know, like and trust.
In short, curation done well will get you noticed.
Tools like RebelMouse and Buffer allow you to curate and share interesting content across your social networks, while content aggregator Scoop.it has a powerful content recommendation engine that will surface relevant content based on preferences you input.
Smart, value-adding curation takes work, and building an audience will be a time consuming process. But the benefits of being a curator, and tools to start are at your finger tips. If you’ve ever thought about launching a blog, or becoming a thought leader, don’t wait.
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