Did You Know that Content Curation Started in the 8th Century?

Image via

Most of us have been to the public library. Certainly, in our academic lives, we went to the library to gather relevant information, allowing us to do our assignments. I remember having to do a paper about Christopher Columbus back in the days when I did not have the luxury of sitting home and surfing the web to find the facts and figures needed to complete my assignment.

I went to the library. Once there, I used the Dewey Decimal System – the card catalogue – to find the books that I needed to “check out” for my paper. I went to the section where the pertinent books were housed, and then I began the tedious process of my own curation. Without the magic of Internet discovery or search, I needed to physically leaf through volumes to find that which was relevant to the task at hand.

I like the metaphor of the library as it relates to content curation. Let’s take a step back and look at the history of how libraries came to be and, equally important, the role of the librarian. Librarians have actually been around since 8th century BC, when the “keeper of the books” had to oversee the thousands of tablets that contained relevant and important data. These early-day librarians were responsible to oversee the thousands of stored tablets containing content. These tablets were tagged, indexed, and arranged in logical order. The role of librarians has certainly evolved, but as we look back, isn’t it true that librarians were the first curators of content?

Today, more than ever, we need to find relevant content. 90% of all the worlds content that has been created in the past two years – thanks to the Internet and the ability it has given us all to be not only content consumers, but content creators. But now that we have this digital oasis filled with reams of information, it is a very difficult task to search for what we really need, accessible when we need it.

Marketers are creating content management strategies. They are focused on content marketing to become the authority in their industry, improve their brand equity, increase their following, drive more leads, and keep up with their competitors. Their strategies blend both created and curated content in order for them to keep up with the need to reach out to their audiences multiple times per day across multiple channels with compelling and relevant stories. When considering curation, marketers need to find the most efficient, economic approach, while ensuring they are receiving content that is pertinent and relevant. Many times the sources for this curated content are really not known and marketers are forced to, through trial and error, search for what they need. This is not efficient, nor does it render the intended results.

We understood this issue and have responded by building a digital library of original, quality content– a place where marketers can discover and curate the sources of information that they need to complete their assignments. As digital “librarians,” we take the time and focused attention to find the right sources, review them for quality, originality, and appropriateness, then we index, tag, and arrange them in logical order (thank you Mr. Dewey!). Only now, the content is not on shelves, but in that proverbial “cloud.” Sound familiar?

The library in the sky – the curator of the 21st century – brought to you through the inspiration of the scribes of ancient times.

– Pat

Leave a Reply