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Worth a Look: Scoop.it Digital Content Tool

Scoop.it makes it easy to share the things you're reading, talking about, and interested in without adding a whole new platform to your daily work.

For over a year now, I’ve been moderating and facilitating a monthly online discussion for people working as community builders and for those looking for feedback on community building efforts. It’s called the #CommBuild chat and was born out of a facilitated monthly Twitter chat called #4change. Often in these chats, participants discuss the online tools they are using and new platform functionality, all with the hope of finding ways to increase community engagement. For example, this month’s online chat, normally coordinated via the text chat platform CoverItLive, tried out a new platform, Google+ Hangout. This video chat application is part of Google+ and allows up to 10 video participants to come together—great for #CommBuild participants because they get real face time with each other.

So when Scoop.it, a new content curation platform, hit the web recently, the #CommBuild network seemed like the perfect place to try it out.

Whether you’re interested in community building, hot air ballooning, or the way robots work, you’re never going to be the only person talking about it online. In fact, the web is so full of information that many organizations are finding it useful to pull together topic-specific content on the web and make it available in one place. These can be useful internally and externally—you can share news with colleagues or create a dashboard of resources for your community. Scoop.it positions every user as a content curator. Unlike a blog, which positions us all as topic experts with a soapbox of our own, Scoop.it makes it possible to pull together media of all kinds—blogs, news, videos, etc.—from many different resources.

How It Works

Scoop.it has an impressively intuitive interface for just being in a beta launch. You pick your topic, add a description of the collection, then you can begin searching for relevant articles and other media to include. Scoop.it provides automated searches to match all the keywords you include on your topic—check out the image below to see automated searches on Digg, Twitter, and Youtube.

You can “scoop” content (add it to your topic page) from the Scoop.it dashboard. You can also browse the web and “scoop” up content about your topic using a bookmark (when you join, you can follow steps to add the Scoop.it button to your bookmarks bar). Once you’ve added information to your topic, you’ll want to share it. Every time you add a piece of content to your page, you have the option of sharing the link to your page via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

For the CommBuild topic, I used Scoop.it’s built-in search feature to add news articles and blog posts to my page—they show up as suggested content, and you can click to dismiss or add to your page. Once I put a handful of items on my page, I clicked Share and tweeted that I’d created the topic to my network. Just like that, it was out there. I then opened Tweetdeck, a desktop application for managing Twitter and other social platforms, and watched the stream of content from Twitter flowing by. As I saw links of interest—especially ones shared by the #CommBuild community, I added them to the Scoop.it page by clicking on the bookmark/browser extension and scooping (saving) it! Almost immediately, people replied with links to related resources, creating a place where the #CommBuild chat could go to stay on top of news and posts related to community building.

Why Scoop.it Is Worth a Try

We interact with articles and other media all day long, so pulling it together under a central topic should fit into that flow. Scoop.it makes it easy to collect and share the things you’re reading, talking about, and interested in without the feeling that you’re adding a whole new platform to your daily work. I’m excited to see organizations diving in to Scoop.it to organize news and information about their cause, neighborhood, or organization. One word of caution: A topic name (in my case, “CommBuild”) can only be used once, and your name may already be taken, just like unique URLs on Facebook and user names on Twitter. I think Scoop.it could become a very interesting space for real time data in situations of natural disaster and crisis communications. I would love to see Scoop.it allow for group use so that multiple people can collaborate to maintain a single space.

What do you think? How do you collect and share content now? How would you use a tool like this in your organization or work?

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COMMENTS

  • BY Alyson B. Miller

    ON September 28, 2011 04:14 PM

    Thanks for the “scoop” Amy.  We have a 5000+ community at http://www.BoulderDigitalArts.com and are now spinning off one for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs engaged in making big changes called PivotGuild.  Building community with all the tool choices that are available these days is a bit overwhelming and we tap as many in-depth reviews as we can - yours is very helpful.  Any idea if it “plays nicely” with WordPress sites?

    PS Just need to check the link to the company’s site - didn’t work for me and had to Google. 

    With gratitude…

  • BY Beth Kanter

    ON September 28, 2011 05:28 PM

    Terrific post!  I think the process of content curation is important - not only just for organizations, but a great way to keep informed about your field.    Scoop.it is nice because it can do keyword monitoring, help you organize your links and there is a terrific community on Scoop.It.
    http://www.bethkanter.org/curate-listen/

    It is the best tool for ongoing curation on a topic, but I like some of the simpler curation tools for curating information from events or for workshops, particularly beginning level. 


    For those who don’t want to do the curation, following curators can help reduce information overload.  Since I first wrote about scoop.it back over the summer, there has been a lot of nonprofit folks using it - and there are some terrific curators that gathering nonprofit oriented content
    http://www.bethkanter.org/scoop-it/


    Anyway, adding this article to my curated list about content curation for nonprofit on scoop.it and to my workshop curriculum
    http://www.scoop.it/t/content-and-curation-for-nonprofits
    http://socialmedia-strategy.wikispaces.com/Content+Curation

  • BY Amy Sample Ward

    ON September 29, 2011 11:45 AM

    Hi Alyson-

    Thanks so much for your comment! I’d love to hear how you put Scoop.it to use if you give it a go!
    To your question about Wordpress: yes, it does allow you to connect your Scoop.it account/page to your WP site so that you can push content there automatically.

    Beth-

    As always, thanks for adding your thoughts and links in here for readers to check out! Definitely some great resources for others looking to give curation in general, or Scoop.it a try. I appreciate it!

  • Argotina's avatar

    BY Argotina

    ON March 29, 2013 03:33 PM

    Scoop.it freezes my computer for over a minute whist site using it are loading. I do not return to those sites.

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