On Friday (July 9), I attended Boston Social Media Breakfast 18. The Topic? Content Curation. It was a timely topic because I had been seeing a few posts lately that made me think that we are growing weary of the blog-as-news-feed format, and need to think fresh about how we present our content. This starts, of course, with how we want this content to serve our audiences/customers (and our businesses).

Regarding the posts that caught my attention:

First was a missive from Chip Griffin on his “Pardon the Disruption” blog. In his post, “All Blog Posts are Not Created Equal,” he bemoans the lack of editorial recommendation in most blogs, owing to the “latest post first” timeline format of the typical blog. (Have a look at the Voce Nation home page for a simple example of highlighting an “editor’s choice” post rather than the latest bulletin).

Robert Scoble wrote last week about curation of outside content- we all do it (a point taken a bit further later in this post), by personally recommending links, but in the same article he also hopes to scold the industry into coming up with a better content curation tool.

There was also Josh Hallett’s post right here on using old content rather than letting it mold in the vaults.

The Social Media Breakfast speakers (and attendees) attacked the curation topic from different angles, but I took several points away as a I listened:

First, there was the use of the word “curation” itself. Tamsen McMahon wondered aloud what professional museum curators would think of this use, as to them it means painstaking use of deep knowledge of the topic.

On speaking with her later, I came away thinking that the best of corporate content curation meets similar standards: a company should be the foremost source of knowledge on their topic, and know where to find the right content and present it in a way that is useful. I’d be curious- and a little surprised- if museum curators objected to the piracy of their term, though.

Pawan Deshpande from HiveFire laid out a plain case for content duration from a corporate point of view. His thoughts are also measured out on the Content Curation Marketing site,  but my distillation of his talk is thus: serve content that aligns with your customer/audience and your business; have a focus and publish frequently.

Also among the presenters was Andrew Davis of TippingPoint Labs. After talking about the online informational chaos awaiting anyone who makes even the most mundane of searches. His example: “Meat Loaf,” through which he explained a journey of clicks from s craving for the dish to the realization the singer was playing in town that night.  The one thing he said that grabbed me was that the crowds on the Internet do a pretty good job of curation if you know where to look for it- and thus the semantic Web, in a way, is already here- created by us.

Does that mean companies should rely on the crowds to curate for them? Of course not- but this event and the aforementioned posts prove that content curation- finding and displaying meaning- is on all of out minds.

By the way- while displaying the materials only does no justice to Davis’ frenetic presentation style, his use of Prezi- rather than PowerPoint or Keynote- is very interesting and worth a look.