Last summer, I was teaching a class and I had a slide with a bullet that mentioned content curation vs. aggregation. Immediately a student raised her hand and asked; “What’s the difference?”

Since then I’ve been meaning to write this post and recently had it jostled from my memory when I saw it posted on Twitter from this year’s SXSW. I can’t remember who tweeted it, but it also had an excellent point.

  • My point: Aggregation is the collection of all related data with no filter. Curation is content filtered through a singular voice. Easy enough.
  • The point of the person who presented @sxsw. Aggregation is facilitated with an algorithm and curation only occurs with human intervention.

This may sound like a subtle point, but to your customers it can make a huge difference. It’s like having people Tweet for you. People can tell. (That’s the reason Barack Obama declared that if it was him sending out the tweet personally, he would include ‘-bo’.)

In order for you to become the trusted source on your niche, you need to commit to curation. It isn’t easy but it will generate real affinity and not the “plastic Like”.

Curation vs. Aggregation