Lauren Moss curates topics that tend to be a reflection of her interests and areas of research/study. As an architect and LEED AP with experience in green building and urbanism, ‘Sustainable Architecture’ and ‘Green Streets’ are topics that relate directly to her professional and personal interests, and they both highlight case studies, current events, and related news articles.
An interest in design, particularly information design and visualization, stems from her experience with the technical process of architecture and how drawings convey data in an effective and meaningful manner. That said, she finds it intriguing to explore how these concepts extend beyond the architectural realm into other areas, including education and communication, and so the topics ‘Visual Data’ and ‘Green Infographics’ reflect those interests.
“When executed thoughtfully and with intention, content curation will help to establish oneself as aknowledgeable resource who adds value to a topic or community, which will extend one’s reach beyond asingle website or platform, and for the best reasons- because others want to read what you share and will, as a result, share your finds and expertise with their own communities.”
The Benefits Lauren has Discovered by using Scoop.it
Lauren first got into content curation over a year ago while doing research for her blog, and seeking teaching and educational resources. When she discovered Scoop.it, it made sense to her to leverage a tool like this to assist her in these efforts.
Once she got the hang of Scoop.it, Lauren realized that it’s a great way to directly share the stories and news specific to her niche interests with other like-minded users on sites like Twitter and Facebook. She has also found that Scoop.it helps her source information and unique content for her blog, where many posts highlight architecture and green design.
To take it a step further, Lauren also began discovering interesting and informed people to follow on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook; people who she would not have discovered otherwise. Lauren has found that the curators she’s discovered on Scoop.it are extremely knowledgeable in their fields and that this adds an added value to the information that they share, resulting in a higher degree of trust.
How Lauren has Established an Online Identity in her Niche Areas
When Lauren started using Scoop.it, she was hoping to find valuable content to inform the followers of her website and blog posts, as well as gain knowledge for both personal and professional growth.
More and more, there is an expectation that sites, blogs and media outlets provide ‘new’ stories on a constant, daily basis, and Lauren started to notice increased repetition of the same information among many of the blogs and sites she had followed for years to help find unique and relevant news. Content curation has since become a means to filter through the proliferation of the same news to discover the stories that aren’t necessarily being widely shared or re-blogged, or found on the first page (or second or third) of any given search results.
Not knowing exactly what to expect in the beginning, Lauren says that an open mind allowed her to explore the potential of a platform like Scoop.it and learn from the curators she began following. Over a year later, her goals of seeking unique, accurate and relevant information haven’t changed dramatically, though her approach has adapted somewhat in order to best utilize the platform. Based on what Lauren has learned and experienced, she’s expanded her goals to engage more with others and connect, not only on Scoop.it, but on social media sites, personal and professional blogs and even offline. When she found that others were interested in the topics she curated, it inspired her to share more and has subsequently helped to establish an online identity in her niche areas.
What Lauren has Learned, and How You Can Too
From the practice of curation, Lauren has learned “quite a bit” about finding and leveraging online tools, enabling her to extend her circle of web-based resources and connections. She also came to better understand how to share information effectively, as well as gauge the expectations and current interest in her topics on a broad scale.
Although her background isn’t in media or marketing, Lauren has gained knowledge about both of these increasingly important topics which affect anyone with any type of online presence, regardless of one’s field, background, or business. Lauren credits many of the excellent curators she follows on Scoop.it, along with the practice of curation itself, for this newfound knowledge.
That said, Lauren’s advice for anyone hesitant to jump into curation is to try it out and curate a topic that is of genuine interest to you that relates to your particular area of expertise. If you have a passion for a subject, she says, it will be reflected in the responses and followers you receive. If you’re looking to learn more about a subject you are less familiar with, Lauren recommends following some of the curators who are experts in the field and learn how they operate.
Here are a few tips from Lauren Moss for those starting out on Scoop.it:
* Follow like-minded people and see what they follow or rescoop; I’ve discovered several great topics as a result of visiting posts that have been rescooped by curators I already follow.
* This may seem obvious, but make sure to read the complete article you are scooping, and if necessary, fact-check to ensure that you are sharing correct and timely information.
* Create summaries that accurately reflect the main points of any given article, video, or link- consider adding why you are posting it, or insert an excerpt of the text for more specifics.
* Use photos that also reflect the main points of the post and add topic-specific keywords so your scoop can be found.
* Suggest relevant links to the topics you follow if you come across them- I always appreciate a good suggestion, and because someone took the time to share something of value with me, I will take a look at that individual’s profile and potentially follow his or her topic(s).
* Use the Scoop.it bookmarklet to scoop articles from other online sources- it’s a great tool that’s very easy to use.
“In the vast sea of online aggregators and curation tools, I feel strongly about the value of Scoop.it, and it’s a pleasure to share my experience with others.”