Curating content in an Interactive World

Erin Scime does a great job explaining the need to “curate” content in an interactive world in the article,  “The Content Strategist as Digital Curator.” Scime points out that when people visit your site they expect to learn more about what you do.

The content-strategist-as-curator is critical to creating an experience with a purpose that is consistent and contextual. During a rebuild or development of a new site, content strategy engagement is site-level and long-term.

First, the content strategist assesses, analyzes, and recommends high-level steps to create more cohesive content. In practice, this means many working sessions with business owners to define big picture objectives, the mission, and editorial program for the site based on the initial content assessment.

Once the site goals are understood from a business and user point of view, the content strategist-as-curator works to reframe the collection by creating an overarching strategy that defines how content be should be organized, positioned, and made relevant (think: exhibition rooms in a museum or gallery). We then look at the spectrum of what is available and desired for publication, identify what is premium (the most unique among competitors, desirable to users, and drives high traffic) and work with the business to agree on site-wide topical areas of strength, focus and breadth.

At the page-level, web editors are increasingly being asked to take on responsibilities akin to the museum curator by managing and representing the intellectual property and integrity of the collection on a day-to-day basis. As if hanging art, the editor-as-digital-curator thoughtfully examines how to strengthen primary content (editorial features) by positioning it with related content elements to support a thesis.