I found this article by Heidi Cohen today; a simple guide to content curation for your website.
Heidi refers to “12 attributes of a successful content curation strategy”. Whether it is targeting your specific audience, offering information in small chunks, or following the ‘less is more’ theory, a common theme that runs through many of Heidi’s suggestions encompass the idea of concentration.
What came to mind, owing to a conversation I had on the weekend, is the clutter and deluge of information presented in the blog mammamia.com.au.
Don’t mistake me, the blog is overflowing (literally) with original “red meat”* content, not just ‘fillers’ (though it does contain plenty of those also). The blog publishes opinion pieces on everything from fashion, politics, relationships, health, travel, parenting, news, food…
Much of the content is personal, relevant & raw. But it is not curated strategically.
When I visit the home page of the site, the experience is that of a horse racing commentator yelling out news headlines. It’s chaotic, there is so much going on – videos, advertisements, style galleries, celebrity style galleries, today’s stories, the latest stories, the latest stories in each of the 8 topic areas, surveys, banners that flash, and something called ‘the opinionators’ which I think is somehow different to the rest of the opinion-based content that makes up the blog?
Yes, they are trying to squeeze in a wide and varying range of topics in one site, but that doesn’t mean it can’t deliver an enjoyable and easy user experience.
A key issue is that the site does not accommodate their visitor as they mauver throughout the site, each on varying search paths. Whether I click “food -> recipes” or “parenting -> fatherhood”, I am still presented the ‘celebrity style’ feature and an article about “In which European countries is beastiality legal?”
Keying in on their visitors interests and objectives is a way of making a very large and multi-layered space, feel as personal as the organic content it produces.
*’Red meat content’ referring to quality original content, not just ‘fillers’.