Screenshot 2014-11-14 15.56.56It may seem an odd question to ask, whether a curated article is better than a created one, but the reason I pose the question is that I have come across two articles on the same subject and one is curated and one is created. I’m not sure one is any better than the other, that’s for the user to decide, but it is interesting to see the differences and what you get from these two approaches. Both pieces are trying to do the same thing.

Here are the two articles:

Clearly there are some significant differences. The feature article is longer and uses interviews with experts to tell the story of the 70:20:10 model. The writer provides the narrative from the interviews and the research they have carried out into the topic. As with any journalistic writing, the story is told by those who are interviewed and the writer makes conclusions based on what those interviewees say.

The curated article differs in that it directs readers to many different links – 12 versus two links in the feature article. Like the interviewees in the feature article, the story here is told through the sources that the curator links to. The emphasis is more about the sources than it is about the writing. The feature is limited by the length of the article and the number of interviews and comments that can be fitted in. No such constraints exist for the curated piece. However, the reading experience becomes quite different. With the curated article you are provided with more of a resource than a piece of writing. You are being sign-posted to look at other articles and for this reason it feels more like a resource to come back to.

Both the writer and the curator are making editorial decisions about who should be interviewed and linked to and for this reason it matters who they are – for example, what do they know of the topic and in particular how well do they know it, who’s paying them, do they have an agenda or biases that the reader should be aware of.

For businesses looking to grow their reach and authority online, both approaches have merits. Curated articles can be a good place to start as you will have industry or domain knowledge that you can use to curate useful and relevant information for your customers and potential customers. There are many ways to do this – the example I have given here is just one.

Hopefully these two articles provide good examples of the strengths and differences in creating and curating content.