The Curatorial Economy

The title of this post seemed to be coined by Dave Troy in his post “Why Twitter Lists Change Everything” (recommended). It’s an apt term that describes 1) how anybody can now become a media source to “curate” news compelling to their readership and 2) how delivering that news provides “economic” value to both the messenger and the community receiving it.

From my slideshow “Build a Dynamic Community News Resource on Twitter in One Hour”, a question came up as to why you would want to become a “news aggregator”, as if the term implied that it’s akin to being a bot. Here are the reasons why a local business person would want to “curate” news for their community:

1. “News aggregation” and “curating” are very similar terms. You need to have the epiphany that your position in the community can be just as powerful as the local newspaper (a “news aggregator”) because your social network trusts you (see slideshow Be the Media!). If you provide a community news resource with the best local Twitter feeds that your local newspaper is not providing, then your community will honor that. If you are in real estate, you will want to curate news more specific to real estate and the local markets for readers who you want to attract as clients. You make a community impact!

2. “News aggregation” is being the media! Do you like being recognized by the media? Everybody does. By creating Lists of local Twitterers, you are honoring them. They find out who you are in the community by virtue of your community media resource, and you develop an “instant” network of appreciative fans. They will follow/friend you. Isn’t that what “branding” is about?

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3. News aggregation is blathering about the standard weather reports, crime news and boring 11:00 newscast stuff that local TV reports. Curating is fine tuning what you broadcast to your community by finding the best examples of good local content that is interesting to your target reader.

4. Finally, you need to maintain a personal touch to curating the news. Show that you’re in the stream by tweeting local interest topics yourself and linking to your blog posts, etc. That kind of maintenance is similar to how you approach any marketing or blogging activity.

As I mentioned before, it only takes one hour to develop a community news resource on Twitter. It’s good will community service; it’s not going to be looked upon skeptically so it won’t hurt you. I posit: why not? Just try it…

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.