Good vs. Bad Curation

I have a account where I’m working on finding articles and interesting discussions about the use of content creation in employee communications. It’s not exactly a bustling field – I think about 99.9% of articles are variations on content marketing themes and using curation as a tool to influence and engage external audiences.

Still, there are some interesting things going on and today I scooped a great article from Beth Kanter where she skillfully reworks a graphic that compares the attributes of  “good” curation with those of “bad” curation. The graphic originally came from Ross Hudgen’s “Link Building by Imitation” deck (and referred to “Good Theft” and “Bad Theft”). With Beth’s revision, it’s a really useful graphic for reminding us of what we’re striving for, and what we’re trying to avoid with content curation!

Beth Kantor's "Good" vs "Bad" curation. This is a rework of a graphic that appeared originally in "Link Building by Imitation” by Ross Hudgens.

Beth also succinctly outlines the ongoing discussion about the value of curation and quotes both Robin Good ( an expert curator) and Guillaume DeCugis ( founder of to illuminate the issue. The question about whether curation has a value or is simply the “theft” and republishing of other’s material is a lively one.

I have to agree with Robin Good when he draws the distinction between the value that is provided by those with good good curation skills versus those with a less well developed approach:  “You should NOT mix-up republishing, self-expression and easy-content-sharing with curation, because they are in fact at opposite extremes of the same spectrum.”

I agree. I think curation is really only of value when we can use it to join the dots for audiences, by broadening the story that we’re sharing and explaining exactly why we think a particular piece of content is worth sharing in the context of a specific audience’s needs. Otherwise it’s just re-posting anything and everything that crosses our virtual desk – and I don’t see any purpose or additional value in that.