The 5 Levels of Curation

There is a lot of learning content out there.

Do we really always need to create more new content or can we just help people get to what already exists that can be valuable to them? This is of course called Curation and it is gaining interest as content proliferates and yet at the same time, resources for creating new content dwindle.

But curation is not the same as creating content. When we treat it like content we add to the problem. Curation is a practice. It is a behavior that we develop like a muscle. Like all practice, there are levels of commitment. There is a continuum of involvement from none to the ideal. Here is my model of the Curation spectrum:

The Five Levels of Curation:

1. No curation at all:
If you aren’t contributing, you are missing out on the give and take
of value in your community.

2. Only links:
Links by themselves don’t add much value but they are
better than nothing.

3. Links and context:
Telling a story about why this resource is valuable
gives the content resonance.

4. Links and relevance to work:
Providing an explanation on how the resources support the work
that we do makes the value proposition clear.

5. Building a community around curation
and committing to ongoing maintenance:
Keeping content fresh on a regular basis assures the
engagement of your audience

This model helps you to explain to stakeholders the value proposition of curation. When they come to you to create a page of hundreds of links as learning content that they will forget about as soon as they sign off on it, you can show them that the effort is not warranted by the value produced. You can encourage them to share less but provide more context, relevance and community.


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