This is the second in an intermittent series of posts I plan to write on the topic of content curation. You can see the first post introducing the content curation concept here.
Today I’d like to continue our discussion by exploring one of the more popular tools for content curation: Scoop.it!.
Leanna Johnson (Learning with Technology) states, “In a culture of content overload, members that provide great content to their audience will be recognized leaders in network communities.” From our position as academic librarians, we not only have to think about the way we share our insights from our research to our own networks, we also have a role in carrying this message and tool expertise to the faculty and students of our university as we help them to become more effective researchers and networkers in their disciplines.
So if providing great content is critical in our networked world, what are the best tools to use for our content? The answer of choice used to be simply writing a blog. This is still a valuable way to discuss topics in depth; however, for many, the appeal for a vehicle or vehicles to pass along valuable content quickly and easily is strong. Scoop.it! appeals to these individuals on many fronts:
• It is very visual, with scoops actually showing the graphic of the original source along with a portion of the source content giving it a sort of magazine-like feel.
• It is very easy and users can begin scooping information within minutes.
• The structure of topics allows the curator the ability to group items of interest together into meaningful collections.
• It is social and socially connected. Not only can users with accounts follow other curator’s topics, they can suggest items to other curators and re-scoop items from other boards onto their own boards. Scoop.it also can connect their topics with their twitter, WordPress, Linkedin, Google+ and Yammer accounts (just to name a few) and simultaneously post to all their networks at once.
• It is free… if you can limit your needs to just two main topics, and only connect to a maximum of two social media accounts. (There are also for fee Pro, Business and Educators versions)
• Individual Topics all have their own permanent URL, making RSS feeds possible.
• It follows the recommender model with a search feature that can(and should!) be carefully customized by the curator to specific search terms, sites, twitter feeds, videos, etc so as to allow only the most appropriately targeted items to be filtered through for consideration.
• The bookmarklet makes scooping items from the web quick and painless.
I have two Scoop.it topics myself. I will freely admit that I was originally treating Scoop.it like a bookmarking application on steroids. In the beginning, I rarely added any “insight” to my scoops. Since I liked looking at the topics of other scoopers and tended to go to the source document of an interesting scoop, I was mostly using Scoop.it as a recommender service and holding place for what I discovered. This is NOT content curation; it is more content aggregation. Content curation requires that valuable insight be passed along with the original scoop item. I listed a few of my favorite scoop.it curators at the end of this post so you could see how the experienced content creators really use Scoop.it as a tool. That being said, I have now begun adding comments regarding why I was scooping a particular item as well as some key highlights to my Academic Workflow topic. So, I’m learning and evolving right along with the rest of you.
Who else among our readers have been using Scoop.it? Share your topic links, tips and experiences with the rest of us. Also, a question that I have asked several other curators, but not yet really gotten an answer that would work for me: What tool DO you use as your content aggregator until you have time to read items and make insightful comments on them?
I hope to continue this series on Content Curation in the coming months. There are a few books on the topic I’d like to review (once I have a chance to finish them!), and a few other tools I’d like to cover from the aspect of using them for the purpose of content curation. What would you like to hear about? Send us your ideas and I’ll do my best to try to address them in future posts.
A Few Excellent Scoop.it curators to follow as you get started:
Kenneth Mikkelsen: Personal Knowledge Mastery
Robin Good: Content Curation World
Guillaume Decugis – Scoop.it Founder and CEO
Scoop.it! Glossary of Terms:
Bookmarklet: This piece of code is loaded (dragged) onto a browser’s bookmark toolbar. It allows the curator to quickly “scoop” an item from a webpage that he encounters during his normal web activities and post it onto his curated topic on scoop.it.
Curator: An individual who has a Scoop.it account and maintains one or more Scoop.it topics.
Interest Channels: This new top layer of organization was added with Scoop.it version 4 changes. Interest Channels are collections of the best curated topics on each of the categories predetermined by the Scoop.it developers. The right to have a topic included into one of the Interest channels is “won” based on regular, high-quality items added to the topic, recommendations for your topic all factored into a scoop.it algorithm.
My Community: Each curator has his own community made up of the other curators which own the scoop.it topics that he follows.
Reactions: A reaction is a comment or notification attached to an individual scoop. Reactions can be found with the “Reactions” link at the bottom left-hand corner of each individual scoop.
Recommendations: Recognized scoop.it experts in the field can “recommend” a curator’s topic. Individual recommendations translate into better rankings for your topic within Interest Channel and regular scoop.it searches and “badges” (silver, gold, etc) which are displayed with your topic title.
Scoop: A scoop is a secondary level of information, assigned to a selected topic by a scoop.it curator. A scoop is an individual news item, blog entry, webpage, etc. that a person stores to her topic of interest. For the better curators, it includes a snippet of the original item and the curator’s personal insight and comments about the item. The reader will click through the link to the entire original item at its site of origin if he wants to read the entire source.
Topic: The primary level of organization on Scoop.it, sometimes also referred to as a ‘page’. Curators define their personal topics, which serve as the main buckets for collecting curated scoops. Each Topic is assigned a unique, permanent URL and RSS feed.
For Further Exploration:
Asghar, Rob. The Rise Of The Smart Web: New Hope For Finding Your Audience, FORBES, 08/02/2013.
Bagla, Sarvesh. Scoop.it: A New World of Curation Infographic
Burrough, Sam. Supercharge your Scoop.it Suggestions, 9 minute video:
Decugis, Guillaume. “5 ways to increase the visibility of your content on Scoop.it”, 02/12/2014
Sannino, Gabriella. Scoop This: A Comprehensive Guide, Search Engine Journal, 01/20/2012:
Scoop it! – A Curation Tool & 5 Great Education Technology Scoops, EdTechReview, 3/5/2013.