Aug 20, 2013

Why More Annotation In Your Curation Is Vital To Establish Your Thought Leadership

Written by : Tom George| 0 | Content Curation
Why Annotation Is Important In Curation

Why Annotation Is Important In Curation

An annotation is metadata (e.g. a comment, explanation, presentational markup) attached to text, image, or other data. Often annotations refer to a specific part of the original data.

Content curation has many definitions as a matter of fact here are 19 of them.


5. My favorite definition of content curation is by Rohit Bhargava: “A content curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online.” There are a few key parts of this definition worth highlighting. First is a content curator is “someone”. Content curation cannot be performed solely by an algorithm. It involves a person who is a domain expert in the middle to be selective, and add value along the process.

Secondly, it’s something that needs to done “continually”. Other forms of offline curation, can be performed once (such as curating an art gallery). When it comes to online curation, a good content curator is continually and consistently staying on top of a topic area as a trusted resource for their audience.

Third, a curator is not simply regurgitating any content that they come across, but they are very discerning, discriminative, and selective in only sharing the “best and most relevant” content.

Lastly, a curator focuses on “a specific issue”. They do not curate on all topics under the sun. Instead, they specialize on a single specific topic and over time have the opportunity to become an authority and perhaps even a thought leader on that topic. Pawan Deshpande of Curata.

How can annotation continue to evolve from traditional annotation of writings, into the new digital age?

How can you add annotation to your content curation?

Multi Media Annotations

Different levels of annotation. Meta Data, often technical metadata
Content Level Keywords, key phrases, ontologies, free text. Multi Media Level
Visual descriptors.

Traditional forms of annotation

Types of annotation found in past practices of works of writings. Could also be applied to today’s annotation methods for curation.


This form of annotation defines the scope of the source, lists the significant topics included, and tells what the source is about.

This type is different from the informative entry in that the informative entry gives actual information about its source.

In the indicative entry there is no attempt to give actual data such as hypotheses, proofs, etc. Generally, only topics or chapter titles are included.


Simply put, this form of annotation is a summary of the source.

To write it, begin by writing the thesis; then develop it with the argument or hypothesis, list the proofs, and state the conclusion.


In this form of annotation you need to assess the source’s strengths and weaknesses.

You get to say why the source is interesting or helpful to you, or why it is not. In doing this you should list what kind of and how much information is given; in short, evaluate the source’s usefulness.



Most annotated bibliographies are of this type.

They contain one or two sentences summarizing or describing content and one or two sentences providing an evaluation.

Some new methods of providing annotation for your curation posts.

New ways of annotating your curation posts. Within the Slideshare presentation the size indicates the value from the curator but I have listed them for you here as well. 1-6, with one providing the least value to your audience and 6 providing the highest value.

1. Abstracting
2. Retitling
3. Summarizing
4. Quoting
5. Parallelizing
6. Story boarding

You can find a detailed explanation of these here.

Another different but interesting definition from Heide Cohen’s post

13. Content curation is using strategy and judgement to assemble, share and/or disseminate content from non-primary sources for a select or distinct audience. Just today, I was talking to a senior executive of a wildlife conservation organization who was telling me how her group curates content for major donors. Some are interested in the ivory trade, for example, others in global warming. While the group doesn’t create content on these topics, they do track what’s relevant and share it with their interested constituencies to strengthen ties with donors, maintain a position of thought leadership, and enter into deeper discussions with their most important donors. Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter and Author of Content Marketing and The Truth About Search Engine Optimization.

SEO Friedly Curation.

So what are the implications? What happens when we combine proper annotation methods to our curation?


We found that when curation-based blog posts contained original analysis and commentary — a version of curation PublishThis calls “Editorialized Curation” — the post saw search engine rankings equal to a “traditional” (an unassisted sit-down-and-write post) on the same topic. At the same time, editorialized curation blog posts took about half the time to write when compared to traditional posts. By incorporating editorialized curation to a content strategy, a brand can maintain high publishing frequency and see SEO benefits of fresh, topically relevant on-site content.

In the final curation variation we tested, we paired an excerpt from the original traditional post with the curated links and enhanced annotations from the previous test. The post reached a #1 ranking.

Our conclusion is that when content curation comes in the form of original content, a website can achieve the benefits of fresh content without threat of negative search engine rankings. The same ranking potential can be gained from curated content with editorialized curation in significantly less time when compared to a traditional blog post.

Why then is there the need for these” Top Performing Curation Practices”?


For many content marketers, curation is something of a silver bullet. Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz has joked that we’re in the midst of a content arms race; companies across all industries have realized the power of custom content, and are actively competing to produce better-quality materials. For many companies, it’s no longer enough to blog three times a week and release a white paper once a quarter. The average B2B marketer is using 12 different content marketing tactics, and a curation strategy can boost the volume of information shared without dramatically increasing the workload. We’ve compiled some of the most fascinating stats and facts on the state of content curation:

One person’s perspective on Curation and SEO

While most content curation sites tend to be spammy with no real value, I wouldn’t say that all content curation sites are automatically spammy. For example, is a content curation site and is one of the most popular news sites online. A study even showed that Drudge drives more traffic to most news sites than social media. is another example of a popular content curation site, though they also include their own, original content as well.

That said, if the intent of your content curation sites is simply for SEO purposes, then it sounds like you’re planning to spam. If you really want to create curation sites for the value they can offer, then your first focus needs to be on value to your visitors.

Don’t steal the content of sources you are curating. The way I see it you have 3 options, 1, just link to the source with a headline. 2. Write up a brief summary of the source and link to the source. 3. Write a response post to the source, being sure to link to the source and give them proper attribution. I’d also highly recommend writing your own, purely original articles as well.

As for the SEO side of things, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t duplicating anyone’s content (headlines or article bodies) and then properly optimize the posts.

In summary for Internet Billboards as well as any curation it is therefore of vital importance to provide annotation to your curation in a unique and engaging manner as described in this post to build an audience and establish thought leadership. Also because of the thought processes involved a curator will undoubtedly develop an intimate knowledge of their topic, simply by reading, assimilating, and internalising the content that they curate over time.

Are you a content curator on Internet Billboards or elsewhere? I would love to know your opinion on this annotation and curation piece. Please leave a comment below and let’s discuss it.

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Tom George

Founder and CEO of Internet Billboards. A futurist and serial entrepreneur, as well as a professional fitness trainer, martial artist, and business strategist. Helped to develop inbound advertising. An avid content curator who enjoys finding those digital gems out there in cyberspace and sharing them with others.
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Content Curator

Tom George

Founder and CEO of Internet Billboards. A futurist and serial entrepreneur, as well as a professional fitness trainer, martial artist, and business strategist. Helped to develop inbound advertising. An avid content curator who enjoys finding those digital gems out there in cyberspace and sharing them with others.

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