Curating content is nothing new, but recent innovations in social media have taken the focus away from aggregation, which tends to operate on the back end of a website, to something users can do with the click of a button. Yesterday blogger and entrepreneur Elad Gil posted an interesting timeline that traced the evolution of social media tools from lengthy blog platforms (like this one), to shorter status updates (like Twitter), to simple buttons like the “retweet” button on Twitter or the “check in” button on Foursquare. He concluded that Pinterest and other sites are making it even easier to collect, sort and share content. Here are some of my favorite places to curate content on the Web:
Launched in 2005, Etsy is like the world’s biggest craft fair with an online treasure trove of incredible undiscovered artists. It takes a sharp eye to sift through all of those handmade goods, which is why Etsy has a “Treasury” where users can organize their favorite items into collections and search through collections other users have made. Of course, the best Etsy collection of all time is Regretsy, a spin-off website dedicated to the funniest and most grotesque items ever to hit the Etsy market.
I rarely leave the house without a moleskine notebook and a handful of pens, so when a service arrived in 2008 [Updated via reader correction] that could take all my Web research, notes from live events and pictures taken throughout the day; and make them search-able by keyword, I was hooked. The company also has Evernote Hello to track the people you meet, Evernote Food to remember your favorite meals, and Skitch for drawing on your screen.
This might not be for everyone, but I’m an avid reader who gets through at least one book a week. When I saw the Reading List by Amazon function on LinkedIn, my first thought was that I was not there to advertise books. My second thought was that I had just read William Poundstone’s brain-teasing book, Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? and concluded that no, I was definitely not. I posted it right away and found that organizing the books I had read – especially the business titles – helped me remember what was in them when I needed the information for a story or a job interview.
Launched in 2011, the online pinboard is catching like wildfire as users are able to virtually tack on images and videos on any subject from all over the Web. Imagine a bride sifting through wedding sites and finally being able to see the gown, the flowers and the cake design all in one spot – before she asks her bridesmaids to pick out a dress – and you’ll understand why this site has spread even through the non-tech crowd.
Related: 6 Ways Brands Can Rock Pinterest
This Facebook application (launched 2011) lets you backtrack through your posts to organize your interests into useful lists. Then it suggests other lists for you to follow. With big, easy-to-read buttons and very little set-up time, it’ll make you wish you Snip.It was also in your house, organizing your closet.