How to unlock the true value of content curation

In 2004, I was a freelance journalist living in a cheap Montreal apartment one of my friends would later refer to as a “dark hovel.”

Regardless, at that time I was obsessed with reading media blogs like Gawker and Romenesko. (Gawker was mainly just a media blog back then.)

I wanted to start a blog, something that would help establish me in the media community and hopefully lead to more writing work.

But how could I create a site that would achieve my goals, while still enabling me to pay the rent with my other writing work?

The blog had to be easy for me to keep up to date without a huge amount of writing work. But the content had to stand up. It had to have an angle and offer something no one else had. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth the effort.

That’s a pretty tough combination of things to achieve.

Launching Regret the Error

Regret the Error in 2006.

Regret the Error in 2006.

I managed to figure it out. In October of that year I launched Regret the Error, a blog to track media errors, corrections and accuracy.

Almost a decade later, the blog is now part of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, has been the source of regular columns for Columbia Journalism Review, the Toronto Star, and BusinessJournalism.org, spawned an award-winning book, and has led to a ton of other writing work and speaking opportunities.

The key is that the blog in its earliest form relied on content curation. By beginning with curation (and, yes, a decent idea and hard work), I was able to build up to the point where I could write columns and books and give workshops and speeches.

Connecting curation to creation

This is the secret of content curation I think many people fail to recognize.

Below is a presentation I recently delivered at Third Tuesday Ottawa. Read a write-up of it here. (That blog post written using Spundge!)

This presentation connects the dots between curation and original content creation, and uses my personal experience to help you see why curation is most valuable when you use it to power original content creation.

More than anything, I hope it helps you see that anyone can create quality original content — especially if you start with curation.

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