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Five great tools for Sophisticated Content Capture

content3Further to my post last week about "3 top tools for content curation", there is a more sophisticated level of a content curation system that is important to understand.  It is worth taking the time to build out your content infrastructure toolset to really reap the rewards.  It not only brings tremendous efficiency and productivity gains in your content curation efforts, but also provides you with branded online assets to compliment your Social footprint. (Incidentally, this post at by Adam (@adamvincenzi) Vincenzi expands upon the points I made in my previous post, and also adds to the list of tools you can use in this exercise.)

Aside from the collection tools in sites I listed out in my last post, there are some other useful sites and services that can help you easily and quickly collect and keep reliable assets and sources of good content for future reference, or for keeping great resources to complement and validate  your own content creation efforts.

  • Delicious - I've been using this Social Bookmarking site for about 5 years now and while it did decline seriously as its own business model faltered, Yahoo has acquired it now and improved it tremendously and so I am very happy I persevered!  This is a great tool for archiving - bookmarking - great pieces of content for future reference using a tag system.  Each tag creates a unique URL you can share with clients or customers which is very useful for reinforcing your expertise and thought leadership with them.  Also, it is possible to brand this page with your logo and tagline).  You can install a great little widget on your browser toolbar to make site capture that much easier.  (Stumbleupon is also very good at this, but I can't speak to its usability.)
  • RSS - this is a very old, nerdy and almost now forgotten technology for content management which I personally believe will enjoy a resurgence in the new world of content marketing.  The original content syndication technology has been in many ways made obsolete by the Social Networking revolution that saw subscription to content made that much easier by Facebook Pages and Twitter feeds.  However, when you are involved in serious commercial content management, it can be a great tool for rss (1)subscribing to quality content sources.  Just look for the distinctive orange-and-white icon.  RSS's demise was signified by the closure of the excellent Google Reader tool, and while there are no end of replacement services - I have found the Digg tool to be a cool substitute with a nice preview-browsing interface.   You can use the favourite button to bookmark key posts and the tool also has useful share tools.
  • Hootsuite - As well as using this Social Monitoring tool to harvest content from Twitter Lists and Search stacks, they have now built a very useful Syndication tool that you can embed in your browser and easily capture RSS feeds from sites where you find interesting content.  The tool then creates useful Syndication Tabs in your Hootsuite instance to centralise your monitoring in one place.
  • Evernote - this is a great note taking tool of course, particularly because of the seamless way it integrates across mobile devices of all platforms.  However, they have augmented this product with a great capture tool - the Evernote Web Clipper - that works across phones, tablets and the web.  This is pertinent because so much of your content consumption time is spent on the go.
  • Pinterest - infographics are such a powerful mechanism for conveying complicated data sets or concepts, and Pinterest is a great tool for collecting them and operates like Delicious in the sense that your boards have their own URLs which can be branded and easily shared.  (See for instance the Artechlate Social Board.)  Of course in time you can fuse this collection with your own productions.

(Two other more common sites for content curation and capture are of course Digg and Reddit but it is worth remembering that everyone else in the known Social universe visits these sites and so your chances of finding unique content are slim.)

Effective content capture is not only a huge productivity gain for your Affinity Content output, but also can contribute to your owned content asset production.  By collating a wealth of material in an easy-to-search library, it is easy to find references and validations of your own thought leadership content.  (It is worth considering also the benefit this will give your Link-Building aspects of your SEO strategy.)

The important thing here is while it is important to do this quickly and efficiently, quality is key. Honing a system that discovers unique and valuable content  will help you stand out from the rest.  If you are only recycling the same content as everyone else how do you hope to be a thought leader?  This amusing video emphasises the importance of Quality and Value in your content strategy.


Video: courtesy of Ogilvy Johnnesburg