Digital Fashion Trend: Content Curation

I’ve recently been involved in two conversations about curated content; discussing how it works, if it works, and if it’s the next big thing. I’ve also noticed that some of my favorite go-to fashion sites have content curated by their users. And just a few days ago, e-tailer Rue La La released a customer curated boutique. Fans of the brand’s Facebook page had the opportunity to vote for their favorite picks, which were then displayed on the Rue La La website.

Needless to say, this is one hot topic of conversation in 2011.

Defining Content Curation

An article I found from online marketing blog TopRank, includes insights about curated content by 10 thought leaders.

Paul Gillin, Consultant and Author of The New Influencers and Secrets of Social Media Marketing, defined content curation as, “the process of assembling, summarizing and categorizing and interpreting information from multiple sources in a context that is relevant to a particular audience”. He went on to suggest that this will be “absolutely essential” to content marketing’s future because of how media is evolving.

Another point discussed in the article was about who should curate the content. David Meerman Scott, author of New Rules of Marketing & PR and World Wide Rave said, “… the challenge is how can you do it in a way that’s interesting. You have to make a decision: Do you let the machines do the aggregation and the selection or do you let humans do the selection. It’s a huge decision, humans or machines.” What Scott was referring to of course, is the aggregation of data that sites like Expedia and Google have been doing for years.

I agree with both thought leaders. Content curation has to have some human element involved to work properly, otherwise the data is really just as aggregated as it has been for years. And, in age where you can quickly bookmark your favorite articles and post live updates from events from Twitter categorized by hashtags, the online world is only getting increasingly full of “stuff”. It is becoming increasingly important to implement savvy ways of sifting through the clutter to find and organize the information you really want.

Since online content is forever growing in volume, and the media landscape is expanding far beyond traditional publications (New York Times, Elle, etc.) to user generated content, it may be only a matter of time before the “go-to” sites for news (and online fashion inspiration) are more often than not, curated sites.

Curated Fashion Sites
Everlane: This site brings creative thinkers with good taste together. Each creative has a profile page, which shows their favorite menswear items found across the web. The company’s next step is to launch a store, for which these people will choose what’s actually sold. According to the site’s About Me page, they aim to bring boutique shopping online. (The Pretty Innovative Scoop): lets Twitter users turn their newspapers into digital newspapers. While my paper, The Pretty Innovative Scoop, shows content that select people in the fashion and tech scene tweet, there are a growing number of fashion related digital papers, like the popular The Fashion-Tweets Daily.

Polyvore: This site is an online social shopping hub where users can bring in content from across the web to create “sets”, namely fashion looks. With 6.5 million monthly unique visitors, Polyvore is chock full of creative styling ideas that can be found in the form of digital collage.

Club Monaco’s CM Culture Club:Retail brand Club Monaco created this addition to their site about eight months ago so that each month, employees around the globe could share photos of their favorite styles, foods, and people. The page also features content added by well respected industry thought leaders in fields such as fashion and media.

Things to Think About

  • Can content be fully curated electronically after initial setup is complete?
  • Do all of the above sites fit within the scope of what curated content is all about?
  • How do you feel that curated content will fit into the media landscape in one year from now?
  • What other fashion websites curate content in a unique way?

2 thoughts on “Digital Fashion Trend: Content Curation

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