Welcome to this new mini-series of interviews!
Every week, one exceptional curator will answer the same four questions to help you understand why curation should be part of your content strategy.
Let’s start with one of the best in the field: Karen Dietz.
Karen is a folklorist, trained storyteller, and author. In her 25 years as a business consultant, facilitator, and trainer, she has worked with many personal and corporate brands.
Why did you decide to become a curator?
Several things were happening all at once in my world:
- I was re-establishing my consulting/training/coaching business after leaving my position as Executive Director of the National Storytelling Network.
- I had been a player in business storytelling from early on, had a lot of experience and knowledge under my belt.
- I was pretty much invisible to the larger world.
- I wanted an easy way to stay up on all the latest developments in business storytelling.
- Business storytelling was now popular and so many people were jumping on the bandwagon, but knowledge and experience were getting thin.
- I was continually frustrated with all the junk articles I was finding on the Internet about business storytelling. I found lots of misinformation.
- I kept worrying about the quality of work in business storytelling degrading because of the quality of articles I was coming across.
- I saw the potential danger of business hiring business story practitioners and not having a good experience because they themselves did not have access to quality information.
- No one was guiding people through this mess. I thought, “Why not me?”
- I wanted to point people to information they could actually use and apply, along with pointing out cutting edge advances.
- I saw other fields like gaming and neuroscience doing fascinating work in storytelling that most people would miss. So I also wanted to connect different professions and projects together.
- I thought maybe, just maybe, curating content on the Scoop.it platform might help all of this.
- I knew I had the ability to scan vast amounts of far-flung material and find the gold. So I was less scared about the task.
- It was in beta, so I decided to try it – not knowing if I would like curating, if I would be successful, or if it would make a difference in my business and the field. Overall, it was a gamble. One I’m happy I took, though.
What benefits has curation brought you?
Many, and some I don’t even know about, I’m sure. Here are the benefits I do know:
- An amazing and large group of followers.
- Comments and stimulating discussions about various aspects of business storytelling that allows all of us to continually learn from each other.
- Friends, colleagues and connections all over the world that I never thought possible.
- My book deal with John Wiley & Sons publishers for Business Storytelling For Dummies.
- My TEDx talk.
- Colleagues and educational institutions using my curation for research, and as a body of knowledge.
- Visibility and expert status.
- Being able to give kudos and acknowledgement to fabulous folks writing about business storytelling that I never would have known about (my favorite part of curating).
- Being at the forefront of developments in my field.
- Connecting with – and learning from – an amazing group of highly respected curators like yourself.
- More marketing power with less cost for my business.
- Leads and sales.
Now what’s not to love about all of that?
What are your top tips for great curation?
Don’t curate a piece unless it adds value to your readers.
Don’t curate a piece just because you know it will bump up your numbers.
Have clearly defined editorial principles and stick to them.
Stay fresh — take a break when you need to.
What’s the best example of curated post you have ever read?
Ahhhh – hard to say with 1,700+ articles in my curation now! The best in 2015 so far has been this one:
Why? Because it was a perfect post. The author Ffion Lindsay did a bang-up job of having a clear point, illustrating each of her 8 story structures with a great visual, added a real life example to each structure, AND told us when to use each structure in a different business application.
It was clear, concise, and provided great value. The application tips were brilliant and I rarely find these, which is one reason I found the post so exciting to curate. Too bad I couldn’t contact the author to let her know.
Is there a content curator you would like to see featured in this series? Feel free to share their name in the comment section below.