Curation in a Digital World

As Legal Nomads has taken shape over the years, I’ve been more and more involved with social media and found it to be one of the best ways to solidify the site’s message but also show the world the other things I care about. As I noted in my “Links I Loved“introduction:

When I joined Twitter in late 2009, I started sharing those same links, but in real-time. The feed was (and continues to be) vaguely travel-related, with the majority of the postings a sprawling bucket of assorted nerditry to learn from. My business card has the word “curator” in my bio and while these days, curation is a very popular buzzword, I think it does hone in on what I’m trying to do. In a world of informational abundance, it’s great to sift through the noise and pull out the links that you want to learn from. And I love sharing them, too, as many people don’t want to do the sifting – but I do.

Using Twitter, Instagram, and to a lesser extent Facebook and G+,  I’ve shared the links I care about and also developed a specific following for Legal Nomads, one that is not just about travel but the overall worldview I espouse. It’s been wonderful. As the years have gone by, I’ve started to do public speaking about social media, both how to make it fun again but also how social feeds are a perfect tool for sharing your passions with the world.

To that end, here is the most recent presentation I gave, at TBU in Porto. It includes case studies and tools for social media use, as well as some general tips. I’ve pasted the suggestions below the slideshow, too.

Slides: TBU Porto

Resources and Tools

Case studies in the slideshow:

Maria Popova — general curation, focus on design, literature and art. (@brainpicker)

Tina Roth Eisenberg  — focus on creativity, learning, art (@SwissMiss)

Colin Wright — travel, location independent blogger; feed focuses on politics, news and science (@colinismyname)

Dave Pell — curator of the newsletter, summarizing the day’s news.

Tools mentioned in the slide show:, Percolate and – NOTE these app has been fully deprecated. Use Nuzzel,, as a replacement.

Google Reader: (for RSS feeds of sites you love)


Bitly – for link click throughs, tracking demographics and reach.

SocialBro – analytics for Twitter including when to tweet, influential followers and follows and network searches.

Tweriod – assessing when you are best to tweet based on when your followers are online.

Facebook insights – in-depth analytics for your Facebook fan page.

Cut the noise

Manageflitter – allows mass unfollow of Twitter accounts based on criteria specified in their app (e.g. no avatar on Twitter, inactive accounts, etc.)

Find your voice

Followerwonk – how to explore and grow your social graph, including following accounts based on interest.

Lists from, or follows of, the people who you trust and follow.

The Golden Rule: If you haven’t read it and loved it, don’t retweet or post it.

Further Reading

Rohit Barghava, The Content Curation Manifesto.

Interview with curator Dave Pell from NextDraft newsletter. Excerpt:

“NextDraft is less a traditional aggregator and more of a column with links. I’m not just cutting and pasting material. I am anchoring the day’s news. In a lot of ways, the increasing number of aggregated digests have added to the clutter. One digest might make things easier. But two thousand of them can leave people in same state of overwhelmed distress. Ultimately, the goal should be to pick one or two voices that you trust. People need some kind of algorithm to help them cut through the clutter and I’ve realized that, for some folks, I am that algorithm. The next iteration of the web is going to be all about humans filtering information for each other. “Web 3.0: The Humans Strike Back.” You just need to make sure you end up following the humans who will lead you to places where you want to be.”

Percolate video “What is Curation?

Hope this is helpful!


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