Screenshot 2015-03-04 09.21.27

Yesterday I gave a lecture to second year media and communications Students at bath Spa University. In it I gave a brief overview of my journalism and publishing experience, my thoughts on curation and content creation and shared some mash-ups too as the students are preparing a piece of work which could involve mash-up approaches. I also included a short video on storytelling and hoped to crowdsource a story with the students using Twitter but time ran out.

In this post I am sharing the links I shared in the lecture as well as some of the tools.

Content creation and curation

I’ll share a couple of thoughts on this because I think it is important. Basically, when I started as a journalist the only communications channels were phone, fax and face to face, email was just staring to become popular. Then came the proper web that business started to use (with fast download speeds!). When the web arrived access to information and people and their ideas became a lot easier. And then people started creating content themselves.

This huge amount of information requires us to be adept at filtering and surfacing good and useful and truthful information. It also requires us to be able to create good and useful and truthful information. This is why curation – the filtering of information, contextualising it (ie adding context to why a piece of content is important) and sharing it back out is a critically important skill. The process of curating can help us establish the authenticity of content. This is especially important when there is so much opinion and repetition on the web. This means we have to reconcile who is saying what with what their agenda might be and how useful what they have to say is to your audience. There is a risk of filter bubbles, but being aware of your own filter bubbles can help challenge yourself about what you are curating.


My slides

#Makecurate presentation for Bath Spa University

Content creation tools

This is not a definitive list by any means, just some of the ones I use.

I use Twitter in a number of ways – for research, connecting with people, following debates, connecting to ideas. Recently myself and a colleauge, Sam Burrough have been running a hashtag, #exploresocial, as a part of a course we are running. You can see how ideas are shared.

I use Instagram at events to share images. It can help develop an event presence on Instagram as well as amplifying the event. People can also comment on images so a conversation can be had around the images.

Formerly known as Audioboo, this app is great for recording audio interviews, adding an image and posting and sharing quickly. (It looks like Audioboom are making it a login only site so I’m exploring other tools).

All my sites are hosted on WordPress. it is one of many platforms but it is really flexible and has many, many plugins that enable you to easily create and share content.

I’m a big fan of using my phone to take quick and dirty video, especially at events, and posting into the social stream around that event. Youtube is the second largest search engine outside of Google, provides editing tools in the app and so is a useful video tool.

Six seconds ov video can give you a flavour of where you are and what’s going on around you. Again, I use it at events. It’s fun too (which is always good).

Adobe Voice
A great ipad app that let’s you create short films by adding images and a voiceover.

Google Docs
This is simple technology but is really effective for crowdsourcing ideas. Create a doc and make it open to all to edit and then invite people to add their thoughts.


Content curation tools

This is an RSS reader that enables me to subscribe to feeds from other sites. I can then organise those feeds (I do it by topic) so that I get a quick view on the world versus clicking around hundreds of sites everyday.

Provides a list of links shared by people you follow on Twitter.

This tool lets you search people’s Twitter biographies. That means you can find and follow people in your area(s) of interest.

Mobile magazine app that’s great for finding content.

I use this tool a lot to create stories out of content that already exists (and it doesn’t have to be yours), be it tweets, video etc. Works really well for events and Twitter chats.

A great visual curation tool. You can add pins and annotate them.

A magazine app that lets you curate your own magazines. it also comes with a powerful search engine so is good for finding content too.
This is a bespoke curation tool. It has powerful content search tools and enables you to ‘scoop’ content on to a page. you can embed these pages into your own website. You can also annotate your ‘scoops’ and share across other networks.

Consider creating playlists – you can curate videos into a playlist to create a new narrative.

A great tool for creating and co-creating lists. I’ve written about it here.


I included this video from US author Kurt Vonnegut on story shapes.

This article from Pixar on story telling is also a good read.


I also shared these mash-ups and talked about the merits of creating something new out of something old. (Thanks to one of the students who suggested the Clarkson mash-up).