Navigation Menu+

Humans = Mojo. Bring Life to your Content with Social Curation

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 by in ThiNK First | 0 comments


Answering questions about what you do is content marketing 101.

You can’t get much more basic than that. So here’s some really basic questions in and around Social Curation.

  • What is Social?
  • What is Content?
  • What is Curation?
  • What is Content Curation?
  • What is Social Curation?

These are five questions I want to explore in this post. Where is the mojo? That’s what I want to find.

What is Social?

I think social is just a fancy word for human. We all forget where we came from. We all forget that technology gets in the way (or got in the way). Humans or the humanizing of tech is now the focus for many. The full circle of life.

We can now get information anywhere anytime. Our devices know where we are. The world knows where we are. The world knows what we like (and love) and hate.

Smart people are adding the human touch. Smart tech is downsizing life to feel like a village or a campfire. Let’s not forget those caves.

So think of social as being human. Or that’s how I think of it.

What is Content?

We all get carried away thinking too much. Content is just stuff people need to know to be human.

  • Content is gossip, what’s new, storytelling.
  • Content is how to, tips, tricks & insights.
  • Content is connections/preferences between things and people.
  • Content is tradeable, saleable, shareable, a gift.
  • Content is a commodity, a proxy to power or wealth.
  • Content is currency.
  • Content is social currency.
  • Content is status.
  • Content lets us be the goto guy.

So sure content is blog posts, books, slides videos etc, but lets not forget what content means to people. Content is human. It’s a human need.

Content got us out of caves. Finding food, sharpening an axe, stories on a cave well are all early forms of content.

Content makes us interesting and valuable. Content gives us stuff to share. Sharing lets us contact with people and feed our need to be human and social. Sharing validates our experiences. Sharing helps is distill value. Sharing is a curation tool.

What is Curation?

We often make curation more complex than it need be. Curation is just filtering, summarizing, extracting. Curation is also making new content from existing content. Sharing lets people create more value.

Curation as a word stems from museums. Curators have too much content. Too much art or art. Curators pick stuff to tell stories or give an experience or communicate an idea. Curators make choices.

Journalist are curators. Stylists are curators. We all curate our lives.

We curate our stream on Facebook or Twitter. We curate our friends. We decide what photos to take. What information to share. Which events to attend. We decide our careers, our partners, our neighbourhoods.

Life is one massive curation exercise. When we didn’t move jobs, or locations life was simpler. A shortage of choice diminishes the need to curate, but that’s not our reality, far from it.

We live in a world where we have to filter. We can’t watch or read of experience even a small percentage of the content choices we have available to us.

We are short on time and other resources. So we have to make choices.

Curation used to be a job of the few, now it’s a way of life. I sense few people have thought just how much we are all curators.

We need to be better curators. We need to be sociable or perhaps more sociable. We need content to bring value and give us meaning.

Curation is the process for maximizing happiness and meaning.

Curation is simply the mechanism for managing life.

So what is Content Curation?

Content Curation is really very simple. It’s the distillation of what we know to tell a story or communicate an idea. Curation has purpose.

Content curation lets us be effective communicators. It’s a tool.

Today more than anytime content curation is a problem of scale.

Curation is not just about taking whole ideas and filtering out other whole ideas. Curation is blending.

Sure we can curate a list of best posts, best book etc.

Curation also means fresh ideas. I could have curated this post from other people’s definitions. That may have been what you expected. Perhaps it was what I thought when I sat down to write this.

Then I suddenly thought why not take it back to basics. Take it back to real low level human needs.

I’ve seen people over define curation as something elitist. For me it’s just a basic human skill.

You can curate by algorithms and that’s one way to scale your curation problem. I think curation means much more than picking. It’s also distillation and finessing. In this case algorithms play a lesser role.

Google began as algorithmic, but now factors in people’s choices. The original algorithm was a function of how people curated and linked content.

So what is Social Curation?

Sure sharing and recommending plays a part, but the real magic of social curation is when you make curation a team sport.

Social Curation is when you ask for help from your community and your connections.

Social Curation is when the best answer is distilled from the minds of many.

Social Curation scales because only people who care will donate their time and passion to any given topic.

I know I’d help curate a list of Euro Board Games, but you wouldn’t see me near a list of top classical music tracks. It’s not that I don’t like classical, it’s that I love games. That’s the filter. That’s always our filter. Curation works when it’s an act of love.

We curate what we care about.

The social graph is the building block of social networks.

The preference graph is the building block of social curation.

That’s what makes social curation work.

So how about you? How do you see social curation? How do you filter how and when you engage. When do you choose to contribute?

Are you aware just how much your passions filter how and when and why you engage?

Did I forget to mention Listly , and that we changed our tagline to “Social Curation Mojo”,  an awesome piece of inspiration from Bill Liao.

Don’t miss this interview with TKG

Collyn Floyd Collyn Floyd
10 items   19 followers   44 votes   894 views

Interview with Nick Kellet, co-founder,

I'm taking Nick's advice and making a list out my 30-minute interview with him.

Nov 13, 2012 - - 124
Interview with Nick Kellet of SEO friendliness of - YouTube

Nick Kellet explains that is search engine friendly. High quality, fresh, sharable content rises to the top.

Nov 13, 2012 - - 128
Interview with Nick Kellet: metrics - YouTube

Nick Kellet explains that your list's success can be measured through number of views, shares, embeds, and engagement.

Nov 13, 2012 - - 131
Interview with Nick Kellet of Why people LOVE lists - YouTube

People love lists. Nick Kellet, co-founder of, explains why.

Nov 13, 2012 - - 167
Interview with Nick Kellet: as a market research tool - YouTube

Nick Kellet explains some less conventional uses for as a questionnaire and market research tool.

Nov 13, 2012 - - 124
Interview with Nick Kellet of What's Next - YouTube

Nick Kellet talks about what's next for, including a premium version of the service with added analytics.

Nov 13, 2012 - - 138
Interview with Nick Kellet of keeps lists fresh and relevant - YouTube

Nick Kellet explains how makes aging, stale lists a thing of the past.

Nov 13, 2012 - - 147
Interview with Nick Kellet of Nick's favorite uses of - YouTube

Nick Kellet reveals some of his favorite ways to use, from keeping track of guest blog posts to organizing a multi-part series on a blog.

Nov 13, 2012 - - 165
Interview with Nick Kellet of Using the Bookmarklet and Publisher Key - YouTube

Nick concludes by explaining the bookmarklet option and how to get a Publisher Key so that embedding lists in Wordpress becomes even easier.

Nov 13, 2012 - - 174
Interview with Nick Kellet of User Engagement with - YouTube

With, the crowd and comments come with the list when it's re-embedded.

Image Credit : chopo63 via and Creative Commons

Nick Kellet (164 Posts)

Nick is co-founder the social curation platform Listly, that combines crowdsourcing, content curation and embedable lists to drive high-level community engagement, live inside your blog posts. Connect with Nick on Twitter · Linkedin, Facebook and G+ and follow his writing via his other guest posts and on his blogs at and



  1. Inclined to Design - [...] we also have platforms like Pinterest or for collaborative [...]
  2. Write with Belief, Share with Passion | via @nickkellet - [...] platforms are like the Ring, but are you Gollum? Who’s speaking for the voice of real human engagement? Shyam…
  3. The Ultimate List of Content Curation Tools and Platforms - [...] is place to go. The co-founder @NickKellet also shared a pretty sweet implementation of “the story of Listly”, or…

Submit a Comment