I attended an extremely lively and informative presentation by Scott Abel today at the Intelligent Content Conference. Scott is a great speaker and I always learn a lot from him.

Today, he was talking about how to leverage an intelligent content curation strategy to attract friends, fans, and followers. Scott’s basic premise is that in order to really engage with your community (customers, vendors, whoever), you must supply them with new content, as frequently as possible. It’s not okay to just make a page (or a link or a friend) and then forget about it. People are not going to visit your page/link/status if you have nothing new and compelling to say.

Scott described a process that he calls the Content Curation Process. And here are the steps:

Gather Sources of Information

To provide people with information, you need a place to gather various sources, and lots of them. Scott suggests using Google Reader. According to Google,  Google Reader is a Web-based aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds online or offline.

In other words, you enter various websites, blogs, wikis, and other sources of information into Google Reader, and it collects the information in one place for you. Here is the top of the screen from Google Reader, including the box that you click to add a source of information (Add a Subscription):

If you’d like to see a nice writeup on getting started with Google Reader, click here.

Share the Wealth

After you have gathered your sources, you need a way to share them with your friends, fans, and followers, wherever they hangout in the social media-sphere. Scott’s tool of choice for this purpose is dlvr.it. According to TechCrunch:

Dlvr.it is a new product from in-stream advertising startup Pheedo. Once you sign up, you select a feed as an input, and then you select where you want to deliver that feed as an output. Depending on the destination, the feed will appear differently (a headline with a short dlvr.it link for Twitter, a longer excerpt for Facebook).

In other words, using dlvr.it, you can “blast” your information to multiple places on the web, each blast automatically customized for the receiving social media type. dlvr.it also provides various tracking metrics, so you can see how many people opened a particular link. That way, you can see if your posts are meaningful to people.

So, as Scott told us, every morning, you go through your Google Reader content, and decide what you are going to share. When you click Share, the content goes to the dlvr.it queue according to various rules you define.

Tweet and Be Free

Finally, you schedule tweets to tell the world that there is all of this cool content that you have found just waiting for them to read – if only they’ll click on the link you have supplied them with.

Be sure you publish your tweets multiple times. Scott says he publishes his tweets 5, 7, even 10 times. That way, you can follow the sun for different timezones. It’s best to publish automatically, using a scheduling tool (dlvr.it has one and there are others, such as twuffer.) Be sure your tweets are slightly different, so you can fool Twitter into thinking they are unique. Tweeting the same exact thing over and over and over again is a Twitter no-no.

So, now we have the secret! Here we were, thinking that Scott actually sits around, combing the web night and day for us. But, no. It is automated! I bet he is spending most of his time poolside.

Val Swisher
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