One of the goals of effective curation is to give site visitors evidence that your site is essential to their information gathering. As your company’s curation work brings order out of the chaos of information overload for them, visitors will reward you with repeated visits. If your curation efforts are bringing repeat visitors, it is likely that your efforts have given them the sense that the information that you share is: 1) accurate and will not mislead them; 2) prudent and will keep them from having to visit multiple sites for cutting edge information and 3) essential and cannot be bypassed due to the fact that the “need to know” content has been gathered.
An important component in gathering and posting the content is annotating or adding the company’s perspective. If your site is to be seen as essential, you and/or your staff will need to do more than merely summarize and share links. True annotation is the value-added reason that visitors come to your site to get news or links that they could pick up by going to a search engine or having news/RSS alerts sent to them. What, then, are the elements of effective annotation to curated content?
1.) Curators should make a statement about why the shared content is important for those in their niche.
This is probably the most important element of the curation strategy. You have selected content of that you considered worthy to be shared; however, without this perspective, there is no value added. Without a particular value added, there is no reason for visitors to come back to your site.
2.) Curators should speak to what might be missing in the content’s assessment of an issue.
Experts think critically about shared content. They don’t place either theirs or their company’s name on the line with someone else’s conclusions. Without being detailed about what someone may be missing, you are giving your approval to the words written, by default.
3.) Curators should address where the content stands in light of the most current research.
When you are positioning your site and company as a go-to resource in your niche or industry, you need to be able to talk about conclusions in light of any related event in the industry.
4.) Curators should solicit interaction from readers and be willing to start a real conversation
Curators should be considering thought provoking questions to ask their readers. Questions that are compelling give people a reason to come back to the site once they have left to read the curated content.
5.) Curators should have their own content to be critiqued, discuss and reviewed
While curators are always looking for helpful content to pass on, they too should demonstrate that their perspective is also on the line to be critiqued. It is a demonstration of fact that curators are part of the community and not standing above it.
Annotations could mean writing a couple of sentences, or it could mean writing a full-length article introducing the content. Ultimately annotations should be utilized as conversation starters with an eye toward building meaningful business relationships.