This post is the second in a series on content curation and deals with content curation platform Scoop.it. In subsequent posts, I will examine two other such platforms: Rebelmouse and Paper.li. NOTE: The first post in this series dealt with curation fundamentals.
Thirteen Things I Like About Scoop.it
Scoop.it offers many features that commend it as a highly useful curation platform. Here are thirteen:
- Visual format – Scoop.it makes use of graphics to draw attention to each article shared, which is in keeping with a shift toward the Pinterest/Instagram inspired visual orientation of the web.
- Two column layout – By presenting stories in a simple two-column format, Scoop.it offers a more orderly layout than does its competitor Rebelmouse, which, aside from the featured post, I find a tad too cluttered. (That may be due to my left-brain orientation, however. You’ll have to forgive the fact that I come from a family of accountants.)
- Customization options – Scoop.it offers users the ability to customize header and background images in order to give it a more branded look and feel.
- Free and premium levels – Scoop.it offers three levels: free, Pro ($13 per month) and Business ($79 per month).
- Multiple topics – Depending on the level chosen, users can curate up to as many as 15 different topics.
- Profile page – The platform offers a profile page that, among other things, serves as an index to showcase all the topics a user is curating.
- Multiple source options – Scoop.it gives users the ability to draw from a number of sources including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Slideshare, Google News, Google Blogs and Google Videos. In addition, users can search content based on keywords from the above sources and can pull in content from RSS feeds, Twitter users and lists, and Facebook pages. Scoop.it has what it refers to as a “suggestion engine” that does just that, suggests content based on the keyword information given it.
- Bookmarklet – Scoop.it provides a bookmarklet that enables users to curate any content found on the web.
- Multiple sharing options – Once a topic has been selected and a page set up, Scoop.it makes it easy to share content through a variety of social networks including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, WordPress and StumbleUpon. Scoop.it also incorporates the use of Buffer, the new social media management app.
- Commenting – Not only can users share posts, they can also leave comments and express their “thanks” by clicking a “thumbs up” icon. (Think of this as a similar expression of affinity as the Facebook Like.)
- Rescooping – As if that’s not enough, with a single click, Scoop.it curators can “rescoop” content found on other Scoop.it sites. Users can follow other Scoop.it curators as well.
- Analytics – Premium users have access to analytics that include such metrics as total views, visitor and reactions. Users can also see who has followed their topics, and which users are the most engaged.
- Post creation – Through an easy to use HTML editor, Scoop.it enables users to create original content, which can be syndicated to any of the sources listed above including a blog. It’s no WordPress, but for something short that you want to create quickly and on the fly, it’s not bad.
- Tagging (This was added subsequent to publishing the post) – I like the fact Scoop.it provides categorization and taxonomy via tagging.
Those are the features I particularly like. Click here to see the complete list along with pricing.
What I Don’t Like About Scoop.it
With its many features, there are few things not to like about Scoop.it. Nonetheless, I’ll give it a shot.
- Lack of email newsletter creation capability - In order to make Scoop.it a true full-service content curation platform, I wish it offered the ability to create a newsletter to use in sending to my mailing list. Minus that, if I want to incorporate email marketing, I’m forced to use other tools such as FlashIssue, Curatehub, XYDO or an ESP like Constant Contact or Mailchimp. (UPDATE: Scoop.it says they are working on incorporating email.)
- Lack of advertising options – To my knowledge, there is no way to monetize Scoop.it through the use of advertising. I would like to see the platform provide the ability to insert display ad units.
- Suggestion Engine page – Each time I choose one of my topics (which are accessed from the toolbar at the top of the page), I’m taken to the “suggestion engine” page. I would prefer going straight to my topic page instead. It’s a minor inconvenience, but requires a second click.
- Schedule posts (I added this one subsequent to publishing this post) –
I wish there was a way to schedule updates so they would be added over the period of several hours, similar to the way Buffer does it. Due to time constraints I have to do all my updates in one sitting, which means that several articles are added at the same time.(Just learned this is available in the Business version. Unfortunately, at $79 per month, that’s too rich for my pocketbook.)
Due to its many features, as well as its free and low cost options, which are perfect for small businesses, Scoop.it has become my preferred content curation platform. Currently, I curate three topics: Social commerce, content marketing (with an emphasis on curation) and Pinterest marketing, and plan to add others as time allows. Also, time permitting, I hope to provide a guide in the form of an ebook that details how to set up topics and make use of all the platform has to offer.
Have you tried Scoop.it? If so, what do you think of the platform? What improvements would you suggest be added?
Scoop.it Screen Shots