Content – 10 Steps to Ethical Content Curation

Below are 10 tips to help you curate ethically

1. Read a variety of sources

Relying on one or two curation sources isn’t merely boring for your readers, it also violates the spirit of good curation because it could well mean you’re profiting off of the original creator’s work.

To prevent this curation pitfall, make sure you’re reading both the A-listers in your niche and the newer (but credible) upstarts. Also mix in a few other sources that may be only tangentially related to your topic, because you can always make a stronger connection to your subject by adding your insights and interpretation during curation. This approach offers readers more variety in the opinions and ideas you share, and it positions you as an in-the-know expert.

2. Credit the original source

Ethical curators give credit where credit is due by properly citing and linking to the original work. Make sure you’re not linking to merely another curator who’s sharing an article! It may take a few clicks to track down the original source, but it’s worth the extra clicks to credit appropriately.

3. Don’t use ‘nofollow’ links

HTML “nofollow” tags deprive the original content creator of SEO credit. They were initially developed so that links in comment spam would not get the same weight as a link in an actual blog post. Using nofollow links could negate some of the goodwill created by linking to the original creator, so avoid them.

4. Keep quotes short

Quoting a short section of the original piece can give readers a taste of the full article and generally falls under the category of fair use. But if you quote extensive passages, readers have little reason to click through to the complete, original piece. Extensive quoting could also blur the lines between fair use and copyright infringement.

5. Write with a point of view

Summarizing or merely regurgitating pieces from other sources isn’t really curation; it’s closer to aggregation. Good curators explain why a topic matters, how it impacts readers, or what they expect to happen in the future.

6. Add context

If the original article leaves out something that would be useful or interesting for your readers to know, add it as you curate. If your company has survey data that relates to the topic of the piece you’re curating, work in a few key stats.

7. Stick to thumbnail images

Just as text is subject to copyright law, so too are images. Never republish the full image from the original piece without first getting permission. It’s not always feasible to get permission to use every single image, so an alternative is to use a smaller thumbnail image or to find royalty-free images to use without potentially violating copyright law.

8. Let readers close an iFrame or share bar

Some curators place Share Bars and iFrames around the original publisher’s content help maintain the look and feel of the curator’s property while driving traffic to the original site. Using an iFrame or share bar is not illegal or unethical.

9. Write a new headline

Instead of copying and pasting the original headline, write a new headline. Retitling ensures that you’re not competing with the original author in search results. It also lets you emphasize aspects of the piece that the author may have downplayed, or to incorporate words or phrases that will resonate with your audience.

10. Claim Google authorship only when appropriate

Google authorship is a way to link your content to your Google+ profile and make a thumbnail of your photo appear in search results, boosting your credibility with readers. If you’re applying the ethical curation steps described above, then go ahead and claim Google authorship for your curated content.

About Michael Stuart

Mike's experience in the technology industry is quite extensive, serving both as a designer of complex enterprise applications and as a corporate executive. In his previous life, Mike was founder and CEO of AssetWorks Inc. the industry leader in facility management solutions. Currently living on the Texas coast helping with digital strategies using Amplified Content Marketing.