Fans of  Dr Who, Time Lords & The Tardis, will remember Tom Baker’s cameo role as The Curator in the 50th anniversary episode – The Day of The Doctor. A short but meaningful appearance by the man whose signature scarves have become a legend in their own right, as he wore them throughout his long reign on the throne as the 4th Dr Who. The scarf has become the collectable every true fan desires. It even has its own website. No kidding. And if you’re into knitting (or know a granny-who-knits) head over to Tempest Devyne’s website (a wacky Brit living in the USA) who’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own, with a little help from Tara Carstensen aka The Witty Little Knitter.

‘I could be a curator’
The poignant scene starts with Matt Smith. Talking to himself (what’s new). Figures he’d make a pretty good curator. The Great Curator as a matter of fact. He’s probably right. As it requires a curious mind (tick) and an intuitive feeling for the sort of things that would excite an audience (double-tick). Curators in museums create exhibitions that tell a story. And Matt Smith and his predecessors have been exciting audiences for half a century. And the story continues as Peter Capaldi steps into the Time Lord’s shoes as the 12th Dr Who.

The art & science of social curation
The same is true for social media content curators. It’s both an art and a science based around finding, filtering and sharing quality content. On a specific topic, story or theme. It’s quite a skill that involves:

  • sifting
  • sorting
  • arranging
  • publishing

A content curator who has mastered the art of curation, cherry picks the creme-de-la-creme, sorts the wheat from the chaff and shares it in digestible bites with fans-friends-&-followers in their community. Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer publicly states his Twitter strategy is “find good shit and share it.”

Curation vs creation
Content curation is just as important as content creation. In fact, curation can lead to new dimensional content by adding a spin, different perspective or alternative (or supporting) viewpoint on the story or topic. And as the web is energised by a cornucopia of content, from blogs to vlogs, pics-&-pins, tweets, posts & podcasts there’s no danger of running out of sources. It’s a social smorgasbord.

Time well spent
Becoming a content curator is one way to put your flag in the ground. It helps build an audience. And credibility. It adds colour to your social footprint and is a chance for you to show-&-tell about your area(s) of expertise. It’s not about collecting links or being an information pack rat. Anyone can do that. It has to demonstrate: mastery passion and knowledge, coupled with organisation, annotation and presentation. So if you want to become The Great Curator (like Matt Smith) and create a museum of wonders surrounding a topic, story or theme you’re passionate about here are 7 cooler-than-cool-curation tools to get you started.