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Art museums do it. Music festivals do it. And you need to do it, too.

“Content curation” is a complicated, overly official-sounding name for something that essential means “find the best stuff and show it off” – just the same way other, more traditional curators do.

The best curators are able to tell stories, uncover hidden gems in mountains of content and give context to the world around them through what they share.

This video from Percolate (more on them soon!) does a great job of explaining how content curation works, and why it’s important.

More and more, both individuals and brands are focusing more on the power of curation. The popularity of sites like Tumblr and Pinterest give us all a chance to be curators on our little patch of land, while brands like Pepsi and Intel are building content curation into their marketing, bringing top pop culture and tech news right onto their sites.

Reasons to curate content include developing thought leadership in your industry, taking a break from always talking about yourself on social media sites, and, well, just thinking something is cool enough to share.

If you have a great curator as a Twitter or Facebook friend, you may wonder where they go to find all that great content they share. Developing a great source list ensures you’ll always have a stream of share-worthy content coming right to you. You might already know about social bookmarking sites like Digg or Delicious, but here are 10 more resources to get you started.

1. Twitter lists

If you’re looking for content in a particular niche, someone’s probably done the work for you and created a useful Twitter list. Tap into that knowledge by finding the best Twitter lists for your topic. Tools like Listorious can help.

2. Blog subscription

Find yourself returning to the same great blog again and again? Make sure you don’t miss any future share-worthy tidbits by subscribing. Most blogs offer an RSS feed, email subscription or both.

3. Twitter weekly digest

That new email from Twitter? Don’t toss it! This weekly service delivers some of the most talked-about content from those you follow. A great source for content gems you might have missed throughout the week. (Sign up under Settings > Notifications in your account.)

4. Percolate

In its own words, Percolate “bubbles up interesting content from around the web.” In its enterprise solution, it works with brands like GE and American Express to feed editors content they can publish back out to social channels and websites.” Its “Daily Brew” email alerts you to great links making the rounds in social media.

5. SmartBrief

SmartBrief provides industry newsletters on more than 100 topics that provide a steady stream of great news and information from many sources. Choose your topics of interest, then follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or RSS to stay in the know.

6. Newsletters

If your favorite sites, industry go-to news sources or even customers have a weekly or monthly newsletter or daily newsletter, why not sign up for it? They’ll do the curating for you so you get all the best stuff. If you’re worried about email overload, set up a filter so you can peruse them when you have a little more time.

7. Flipboard & Zite

iPad and iPhone users have two great content resources in Flipboard and Zite. Both are variations on the same theme of an online magazine tailored to your specific interests.

8. LinkedIn Today

LinkedIn is a go-to for job seekers and posters, but it’s also a great resource for professional content that’s often worth a share. The Today feature allows users to sign up for specific industries or interest areas, then highlights the week’s best content. Bonus: You can also get this emailed to you.

9. Pinterest

Don’t forget photos! Pinterest doesn’t have the largest list of categories, but the viral power of photos make a little time spent digging here worthwhile. On your own account, Pinterest is also a great repository for all your found photo gems that could go on to future shares.

10. AllTop

The “online magazine rack” of the web, AllTop lets you set up your own custom dashboard chosen from top blogs and news sources focusing on hundreds of categories. It’s a great way to discover new blogs and sources to add to your “must” list.

And don’t forget: Your site!
Yes, content curation is partially about diverse voices and viewpoints. But don’t forget all the content on your own site when it comes to content curation. Not just today’s post, though. Make sure you keep a record of your best stuff – anything that racked up the comments or shares – so you can dig into your archives on occasion and pull up an old post for a new life.

Where do you find the most share-worthy content? Let me know in the comments!

Courtney Seiter is the Community Manager at Raven Tools. Follow her on Twitter at @RavenCourtney and sign up for Raven’s newsletter for another great source of shareable content!

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