Content curation. If you’re in marketing, you’re probably all over it. But what about learning professionals?
If you’ve got anything to do with helping people stay smart, we think you’ve got to be a content curator.
What does that even mean? Good place to start..
What does a content curator do?
A content curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online. The most important component of this job is the word “continually.”
Just like the curator of a museum, content curators responsible for sifting, sorting, and sharing what they consider to be the best content for their audience. They’re responsible for keeping it relevant, fresh and engaging, so people keep coming back.
Content Marketing teams already get it. Content curation as part of an overall marketing strategy is a great way to build an audience for your brand. You help to keep your audience informed, and add value without being overtly self-promoting.
Great for marketing. But the value of content curation is much wider.
What’s it got to do with learning?
The last two decades of online learning have been dominated by courses. You take them, pass them, you’re done. And if you want to get the basics and reach a certain level, courses are a great way of doing that.
But the problem is what’s next? Courses get outdated fast. New content is published in our niches and topics every day. The best course on Big Data, AI is out of date tomorrow.
If you don’t keep up with the latest content in your specialist field, as Charles Jennings says, “you will become irrelevant.”
Everyone knows how important it is to stay smart and keep learning, otherwise our skills deteriorate.
But the main supply mode in L&D is still courses. That’s not what people want. The Towards Maturity Benchmark Report from 2016 showed that
- 60% say they learn more from external sources than formal courses
- 70% find external web sources essential or very useful (vs. 47% for elearning)
- Rising to 81% for senior leaders
So people are looking beyond the course anyway. That’s a challenge to L&D to think differently about your role. Instead of making courses, make it easier for people to find and use external resources.
That’s important, because it’s not that easy. There’s too much content and too little time. It’s not efficient or productive for each of us to check multiple sites, sources and social media every day hoping we find the good stuff. If only there was someone who could sift through all of the noise and bring the relevant, valuable content to the attention of the internal teams who need it the most…
Welcome, content curator. You can be the hero for the time-pressed, information overloaded knowledge workers of your organisation.
Content curators that help teams stay up to date can add tremendous value.
10 Reasons Learning Professionals Should Become Content Curation Heroes
- You’re giving them what they really want. Formal courses only account for about 10% of how we learn. The rest of our insight comes through informal and social learning from each other. So curated content fits right in with our preferences, into what Jane Hart calls everyday learning.
- You’re saving people time. Towards Maturity found that two thirds of leaders say that they struggle with finding the time to learn, and 44% can’t find what they need, despite having the desire to do this. IDC estimates that the average knowledge worker spends 9.5 hours a week searching for information. If you could reduce that by just 10%, what would that mean for efficiency and productivity in your organisation?
- You’re adding value. You’re not just aggregating content from multiple sources. That’s what machines do. You’re acting as an intelligent human filter, drawing attention to what really matters – because you understand your audience, their needs and their context. It’s a very personalised service – and it scales really well if you use the right tools. As Beth Kanter put it, you’re spotting the awesome. Which is, of course, awesome.
- You’re super responsive. If a sales team wants a briefing on the latest trends in Nanotechnology, or an overview of a new prospect, or a regular set of insights on pricing, effective curators with the right tools can respond rapidly. By the time you’ve built a course to answer those questions, the question will have changed.
- You’re helping teams stay smart. Rather than producing courses that decline in relevance over time, effective curators are continuously keeping teams briefed on what matters to them. You become a go-to resource. You’re reducing FOMO. And it doesn’t have to be a massive drain on your time – more on that in future posts.
- You’re building your own expertise. A great side-benefit of being a content curator is that you consume a huge amount of information in order to filter and select what’s relevant. For your own personal development, it’s a great way to stay sharp and develop your own skills. Attend to your own oxygen mask first.
- You’re creating a lasting resource. Curated content, if well managed, remains relevant over time. There’s long term value in hand-picking the very best articles on sales leadership, SaaS pricing, or Negotiation skills from authoritative sources. They become the new reference sites and knowledge bases.
- You’re helping people be self-directed. 88% of learners want to take charge of their own learning experience. Curated content is self-service. It’s not an enforced linear experience like a course, you’re serving up relevant content for people to tap into.
- You’re encouraging sharing and working out loud. The number one way we learn is through knowledge sharing in small focused groups. Great curators do not present themselves as experts who have the final say on a topic. They start the conversation by saying why an article is relevant and invite people to comment. Curation is the engine behind helping teams to share insights and work out loud. See Jane Bozarth’s great insights on working out loud
- You’re innovating. Learning teams need new approaches to help their customers deal with information overload and increased competitive pressure. If you could say to your internal customer that you can help their teams stay up to date on any topic, in less than 10 minutes a day, with no need for a course, would they keep listening?
Want to be that L&D content curation hero for your clients?
We’re here to help you. Check out our posts on
Ready to get your curation cape on? Check out our app, which automatically serves you relevant and recent content on any topic, so you can curate faster and with less effort, and integrate it into other platforms too.