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Diamonds in the Rough: 3 Unknown Tools to Find Great Content Faster

By Lisa GulasyApr 24, 2013

diamond-in-the-roughLet’s take a quick moment to discuss the Disney movie "Aladdin," shall we? (It relates to content discovery, I swear!) Early in the film, we’re introduced to Jafar, the Sultan’s evil advisor, who is on a quest to uncover a magic lamp. Jafar’s ploy to retrieve the lamp from the Cave of Wonders is quickly thwarted because, as the Cave of Wonders says, “Only one may enter here. One whose worth lies far within: the diamond in the rough.”

Now back to content discovery. As a content marketer, I’m constantly on the prowl to find great content for social sharing. Not only do I have to find content for client social sharing, I must also find content to aid in the development of my personal brand, content to source in my writing, content to use as writing inspiration and so on.

To discover all this content, I first turned to my college best friend: Google. When that well ran dry, I subscribed to every marketing industry and client-relevant newsletter and RSS feed available. (My inbox is still recovering from the flood, thanks for asking.) Then, I tried creating desktop folders full of bookmarked blogs that posted relevant content. That was my most efficient method, but it still took a significant amount of time to dig through published blogs to discover relevant content.

So when I continued to accumulate client social profiles (and steadily lost time writing content to searching for content), I decided there just had to be a better way to discover content. I needed to find that diamond in the rough.

I did some digging and, as it turns out, there’s more than one diamond in the rough for content discovery. Here, I talk about the three diamonds I use to find great content faster:

TrendSpottr

TrendSpottr uses Big Data to identify real-time trends from the social web (i.e. – Twitter, Facebook) for any search term or topic of interest. Trendspottr products include Dashboard, Alerts and Widgets—my usage, however, focuses solely on the Dashboard.

Here’s how the TrendSpottr Dashboard works: Say, for example, I’m interested in discovering trending content about lead nurturing to share on Kuno Creative’s Twitter. I’d type “lead nurturing” into a new column search query box in my Kuno Creative tab, select “trending content,” then sit back and let Trendspottr find me relevant articles to share. If I wanted to find trending hashtags instead of content, I’d simply select “trending hashtags” in place of “trending content.”

I’d rank TrendSpottr my favorite content discovery tool for a few reasons:

  • TrendSpottr updates every few minutes, so I always know content popularity.
  • TrendSpottr identifies trending information before it reaches its peak popularity, allowing the clients I post for, as well as myself, to appear “ahead of the curve.”
  • Trendspottr assigns trending information a “Trending Score,” which can assist with deciding if and/or when to schedule content.
  • There is no limit to how many tabs and trending information columns within those tabs you can create, so I’m able to discover and organize relative content for Kuno’s social clients in one place.

Prismatic

Second to TrendSpottr for content discovery is Prismatic. Available for iPhone, iPad and most browsers, Prismatic is an app that discovers, curates and delivers content you’re likely to love into a personal newsfeed. (Think of it as Flipboard, but with a browser desktop version.) You can sign into Prismatic and import interests via Facebook, Twitter or Google+, or you can create a separate “stealth” account. The Prismatic feed features large, high-quality photos and includes the first few paragraphs of every article, so you know you’re clicking through to something worthwhile. 

Prismatic doesn’t update as often as TrendSpottr, but I always find the content to be relevant. My biggest complaint about Prismatic as a content discovery tool is that I can’t segregate interests based on if I intend to use them with my personal brand or for clients—they all appear in my main newsfeed.

My Community Elf

“Unknown” is an understatement for My Community Elf—it’s still in beta testing! My Community Elf works much like TrendSpottr, identifying content based on topics of interest I select and curating them in an easy-to-navigate dashboard. While the content collected isn’t ranked by “Trending Score,” I am able to sort my content by date, relevance, buzz, influence and magic—My Community Elf’s combination of all the former categories.

The tool has many of the main features I like about TrendSpottr (i.e. – ability to create separate streams for clients) and even has one feature I really enjoy (the ability to activate and deactivate topics); however, it’s slow to update (it only updates twice a day!) and much of the content is rather old. (Looking at a feed now, my top story is from one month ago.) That being said, I think My Community Elf shows huge promise, and I look forward to helping with its development in the coming months.

How do you discover great content? Let me know your tricks of the trade or sound off about your love of "Aladdin" in the comment section!

Photo Credit: KerriNikolePhotography


lisa gulasy

Known as Hawkeye for her near superhuman copy editing abilities, Lisa Gulasy applies her unique experiences in agency and journalism to manage strategy and day-to-day engagement of client social media profiles and assist and researching and writing blogs, press releases and advanced content. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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