As the web becomes more and more inundated with blogs, videos, tweets, status updates, news, articles, and countless other forms of content, “information overload” is something we all seem to suffer. It is becoming more difficult to weed through all the “stuff” out there and pluck out the best, most share-worthy tidbits of information, especially if your topic is niche. Let’s face it, Google definitely has its shortcomings when it comes to content curation and the more it tries to cater to all audiences, the less useful it becomes.
The demand for timely, relevant content that is specific to our unique interests and perspectives has given rise to a new generation of tools that aim to help individuals and companies curate content from the web and deliver it in a meaningful way. These new tools range from simple, application-specific types such as social media aggregators and discovery engines, to more complex, full-blown publishing solutions for organizations.
Here’s a look at over 30 content curation tools (mostly free, but some paid/professional tools as well) that will help you cut through the clutter of your information stream to find the gems. Each tool mentioned below has unique strengths, and none are exactly like any other. Whether you’re just looking to augment your personal blog with some free tools, or are seriously considering a paid content curation platform for your business, you’re likely to find a useful solution in the list below.
(Note: Tools not listed in any particular order!)
|curated.by (beta) — Collects and organizes tweets into topic-based “bundles” (collections of tweets) that can be shared or embedded anywhere, and subscribed to by other users. Bundles are created using a simple Chrome browser extension that displays a “Curate” button below every tweet you see on Twitter.com.|
|Storyfy — Storify is a way to tell stories using social media such as Tweets, photos and videos. You search multiple social networks from one place, and then drag individual elements into your story. You can re-order the elements and also add text to give context to your readers.|
|Scoop.it (beta, invite-only) — “Be the curator of your favorite topic!” Scoop.it is an AWESOME tool for discovering those super nichey, hidden gems relevant to specific topic. Use the dashboard to manage an unlimited amount of sources (websites, RSS feeds, specific social media accounts, etc.) and plug in relevant keywords and date parameters. Scoop.it does the rest and delivers you a constant feed of exactly the type of content you’re looking for.|
|Redux — Powerful content curation specifically for videos. Redux helps you discover all the coolest videos to watch, which are organized into very tightly-focused topics by other Redux users. Create your own channel to start curating video content. You can also go on a Stumble-like tangent by hitting the “Discover” button which serves up fresh videos relevant to your interests.|
|Evri (beta) — “Discover, follow, curate & share.” Primarily a news-focused curation tool, Evri brings you the latest stories, helps you track the ones that matter most and enables you to curate your own channels.|
|Blekko — “Slash the Web!” blekko is a better way to search the web by using slashtags. slashtags search only the sites you want and cut out the spam sites. use friends, experts, community or your own slashtags to slash in what you want and slash out what you don’t. Extremely useful search tool for when Google’s bloated, spammy results just aren’t cutting it.|
|BagTheWeb — BagTheWeb helps users curate Web content. For any topic, you can create a “bag” to collect, publish, and share any content from the Web. Beyond most curation tools’ capability, BagTheWeb enables users to build networks of bags. This way bags can be linked together to provide rich and complete information about any topic.|
|BlogBridge — A tool for true info-junkies who want a better way to wrangle all their RSS feeds from blogs and news into one pretty cool organizer. An easy to use/easy to manage way of trawling through hundreds of blogs and pulling out the best nuggets.|
|KeepStream — “Organize your tweets.” We all know how hard it is to keep up with our Twitter streams and many have also felt the frustration of losing tweets into the void, thanks to Twitter’s unreliability. KeepStream lets you save your tweets, organize them into useful collections (e.g. curate your tweets) and embed collections of tweets into blog posts.|
|Paper.li — Lets you turn Twitter, Faceook and RSS feeds into easy-to-digest online “newspapers” in just a few clicks. Requires a Twitter or Facebook account to sign up and start publishing your own newspapers. Treat your readers & followers to a handpicked selection of fresh news and links daily.|
|Pearltrees — An extremely powerful tool that aids discovery of new, relevant content by presenting it in a very visual way. The interface builds a hub-and-spoke style tree diagram of content that you search for, discover and collect. Hover over new “pearls” to see at-a-glance previews of the content which you can then “pick”, comment upon, and share.|
|Bundlr — A tool for online curation: clipping, aggregation and sharing of web content. What if there was an easy way to package up all those cool links you found—videos, tweets, photos, and other stuff that was all related—and then share your bundle easily with others? That’s what Bundlr does.|
|Amplify — “The easiest way to clip, share and discuss things that interest you.” Add the Amplify web clipper to your browser to start clipping & sharing things you find around the web, such as article excerpts, photos, videos and more.|
|mySyndicaat — A no-frills news curation tool for serious newshounds. A personalized aggregator that lets you gather news, filter it to your needs, and deliver it via dynamic feeds and publication tools.|
|Curation Station — A paid service catering to businesses, CurationStation provides companies and agencies with a tool for gathering, monitoring, selecting and sharing specific content with their audiences to achieve business goals, and lets them customize how the curated content is displayed (e.g. to match their branded website).|
|trunk.ly — A handy and very valuable little tool that collects and stores content and shared links from your social streams. More importantly, it indexes the web pages these links point to and builds a personal search engine, so you never have to tag or describe a link again, you just search and Trunk.ly will find it again for you.|
|YourVersion — “The best way to discover new content that’s relevant to you.” Plug in your keyword-based interests and let YourVersion scour the web for you and wrangle all that content into one easy-to-manage dashboard organized into tabs such as News, Blogs, Web, Twitter, Quora, Friends, and more. Use the Relevant vs. Recent dial to get the right blend of content.|
|Summify — Creates a beautiful daily summary of the most relevant news from your social networks and delivers it to you by email, web or mobile.|
|Diigo (beta) — “Collect and highlight, then remember.” Diigo is a true bookmarking tool (versus Evernote) that looks and feels a lot like Delicious, but with extra features that make it more useful for content curation. Collect and organize anything (bookmarks, highlights, notes, screenshots, pictures…) then access your stuff from anywhere and easily share it.|
|Qrait (beta, invite only) — (From the makers of Twitterfall) “Qrait is a real-time curation platform designed to fulfill the needs of content curators and reduce information overload for the rest of us.” Users create “molecules” which are like little hubs of information that you add “atoms” (more information) to. Atoms are added in the form of copy & pasted URLs that will automatically pull in any embeded content such as video, photos, etc.|
|Story Crawler (private beta) — A researcher’s dream, Story Crawler is an intelligent news and information gathering software product that data mines the information overload to fetch results that hone in on your specific needs and connect the dots for you.|
|Feedly — “A fast and stylish ways to follow, read and share the content of your favorite sources, anytime, anywhere!” Like an RSS reader on steroids, Feedly lets you arrange your sources and customize your views to get the most out of it, bringing the best content to the surface. Requires login with a Google account.|
|my6sense — Delivers you content that is ranked according to your personal preferences from your various social streams. You can view what’s most important to you, sorted by relevance, from all of your streams, within individual streams, and even within specific categories determined by you. What’s unique is that there’s no need for you to set preferences or give any explicit feedback. ‘Digital Intuition’ learns what’s valuable to you by translating your consumption behaviour into a personalized ranking function.|
|Instapaper — “Save interesting web pages for reading later.” One of those deceptively simple tools that, after using for a while, you’ll find you can’t function without. When you stumble upon interesting content on the web but don’t have time to read it, simply press “Read Later” to send it to InstaPaper, then access it later from anywhere/any device (including Kindle) in a stylish newspaper-like format.|
|Shareist (beta, invite only) — Create your own custom curation site quickly and easily. Publish content that matters to you and your audience and provide your unique perspective.|
|Storyful — “Storyful was founded by journalists who wanted to separate the news from the noise of the real-time web.” Use Storyful to easily build a visual “story” told through tweets, videos and images.|
|LOUD3R — A paid (read: expensive) but professional content curation platform that delivers the best real-time content about any topic and pipes it into your site, blog, branded channel, etc. Bills itself as the first and only enterprise-level content solution that is feature-rich and intuitive.|
|OneSpot — “Deliver the content your audience wants from your site, network, or around the web.” Another professional grade content delivery platform with patented community ranking algorithms that bring the best content for your audience to the surface.|
|Daylife — A professional publishing suite that “intelligently ingests any media into the cloud and enables real-time publishing of beautifully-rendered features.”|
|Eqentia — “From your context, let us find you content. From that content, let us find you people. You take action.” Aims to empower companies to become professional publishers with a host of content curation tools, dedicated topic portals, and analytical insights. Even if you don’t use a paid Eqentia product, you can take advantage of the system’s curation by exploring and personalizing the channels or by creating your own portal.|
|Curata — “Curata is content marketing in a box. Curata helps marketers maximize their content curation efforts with web-based tools to easily find, organize and share online content – helping them build thought leadership and grow their qualified leads.”|
|Lynk.ly (beta) — Lynk.ly helps you discover the most talked-about stories in the world BEFORE they become too popular. In essence, Lynk.ly predicts the popularity of stories that are being shared on the world’s social networks. Browse the front page to see what’s hot, what’s new, and what’s up-and-coming.|
We hope you have fun exploring these tools! Do you know of any other useful content curation tools? Is your favorite missing from this list? Please share them with us in the comments or send us an email and we’ll consider adding your tool to our list.
Pragmatic, professional advice with no hidden agenda.
Internet Business Forum