“Over the years I’ve come to realize that I write the book I want to read, the one I can’t find anywhere” – Ann Patchett, “The Getaway Car” (from This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, the curated book of her past essays)
As the world changes and entire industries are being disrupted in terms of communication and interactions – and by that I mean the doing, rather than simply the saying – many of us are having to reinvent not so much our knowledge and specialized skill set, but rather how and where we can best deploy and grow them. Communication, for example, is moving from paper-based to online and (conversely) voice to text and images.
Various screens and multiple social media channels are now the window or pathway to getting to know the character and/or personality of the people we interact with, as well as the online organizations or “properties” to which they are affiliated.
However, it is noisy out there in the distributed network of the interwebs, with lots of competition and jostling for both markets and thought leadership.
The challenge is to get attention for content – whether your original work or information created by others – and connect with individuals or at least attract like-minded gatherers. Ideally, your mindful curation will lend itself to a community of interest for the short- or long-term.
Considering the mindful curation infrastructure
At the front end of mindful curation, this is my advice:
- Develop and have on hand reliable sources – your go-to properties or dependable curation resources (which may very well be your blog’s biggest champions or personal friends), but don’t stop there…
- …on the days where you have more time, open yourself up to serendipity: Research new blogs and writers, not just the recent post that caught your attention, but check out her or his back posts, too, or go down the rabbit hole of that person’s links of attribution or inspiration.
- Particularly for those days when you have less time to do broader-based research and reading, keep a cache of people/properties and posts that you’ve noted in the past. I find, in general, there is too much focus on the immediateness of information and the currency of being first – be mindful that good information does not go bad if shared a few days, weeks or even months later. And don’t forget to use the archives of your own property, particularly to compare and contrast with newer information.
- Back to the structure of your sharing, decide upon time slots that make the most sense, and figure out when curated information should be scheduled. For example, as our interested readers/stakeholders are of a global nature, I tend to research and schedule Pan-Asian specific topics and writers during my evening; likewise, information related to Europe or the UK gets scheduled when the sun is not yet up in my part of the world. Be aware of the needs of geographically disparate audiences.
- Determine the mandate of your primary entity and structure your curation routines to find appropriate shares around it. Spend a great deal of time writing your About page. Use all kinds of engagement tactics including conversational forms and web push notifications to funnel those clicks into your site
Most of all, be mindful not to get stuck in a curation rut
Don’t get too stuck in your thinking or routines… leave open the possibility of the new and change up a few things or many.
Learn to love the huge expanse of space and possibilities in the mindful curation role of differentiation and experimentation – there is much to be gained and little – if anything – to lose.
Learn as you go on this journey and be open to new people and ideas; the best curators are not only mindful in their roles but generous in going down a wide variety of paths with the overt or passive guidance of others.
Image by Shahariar Lenin from Pixabay