Digital Agency Top Tips, Part Two – Best Online Information Curation

Chickens on a farm | Digital Agency | Thunderbolt DigitalThunderbolt Digital is a digital agency aimed specifically for small and medium enterprises. We do web design, graphic design, SEO, copywriting, online marketing for clients in Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire. We’ve helped clients from the Surrey County Council to a local PR agency. In this series of blog posts, we’ll be sharing some top tips for making your online marketing activities stress-free.

How do I cut through the noise? The Internet is wonderful and terrifying in equal measure. It has enabled businesses and individuals to share their stories; made information more widely available than ever before and it has become a central support tool for many students, researchers and businesses. However, it also encourages “me too” content which at best adds no original value and at worst, adds misinformation. Misinformation spreads as fast (or even faster) than accurate information and can lead to overnight hysteria or such a persuasive “if they are all saying it, it must be true”-case that even traditional media and other sources begin to spread it. And even if you get to a point where you’re happy with your information and entertainment sources, keeping on top of them all can become overwhelming. You’re spoiled for choice but end up checking the same three websites every day.

You may have reached a point where browser bookmarks are no longer enough. Maybe you subscribe to a few blogs or check your social media accounts daily for what your industry is talking about today. Newspapers are cutting back on costs which inevitably affects quality. There is some genuinely useful, insightful and entertaining content online but if you checked all your favourite sources individually each day you might not have time to do much else. When you’re busy living your life or running a business, content curation tools could really help.

Best for research

Evernote allows you to collect content online using your browser, smartphone or a tablet. You can create notebooks, add tags and access your content from any device. It is a brilliant, free tool for students, writers or anyone who needs to research a topic from multiple sources.

Pinterest is an online pinboard which suits research very well. It was originally started to enable wedding planning but individuals and businesses now use it in a number of creative ways. Your individual boards can be public or private.

Best for collating content for consumption

Feedly has more or less replaced Google Reader and although it’s not the same, we find it easy and pleasant to use. Create your own categories and save feeds from blogs and websites under them. You can access Feedly from a tablet or a browser.

Taking the personalised Internet content a step further is Zite (Nov 2015 update: Zite has now been shut down): “Your Zite is as unique as you are. Zite learns what you like and gets smarter as you use it. Zite analyses millions of articles each day and brings you the best of your favourite magazines, newspapers, authors, blogs, and videos.”

Best for curating and sharing content

Both of the platforms below are an interesting option if you aren’t able to produce content in-house but would like to be visible about your chosen topic. They are also a great way to share fan content or collate information on a niche subject.

Paper.li allows you to collate content from blogs, websites and social media channels into an online “newspaper” on a topic of your choosing. It can also be used as a marketing tool for your business (Law News Today set up by a solicitor; Social Media Today set up by a social media consultancy and so on).

Scoop.it has the same idea as paper.li but treats it slightly differently, including Mail Chimp integration (you can create your newsletters based on what you Scoop).

If you are looking for web design, graphic design or help with your online marketing, give us a call on 01252 413757 – we are a full-service digital agency in Surrey, based in the Georgian market town of Farnham and love to help local businesses thrive.

Photo credit: net_efekt

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