5 Content Curation Secrets From Scott Monty

by Jason Keath on Feb 10, 2015

5-content-curation-secrets-from-scott-montyContent curation is a game of numbers and filtering. To do it well, to be a depended upon news source for an audience, it also takes an attention to detail and consistency.

Making sure the content you find and share is good and making sure you are sharing that content on a regular, predictable basis.

Technology can make every step of this process easier.

On this week’s episode of the Social Toolkit podcast we were lucky enough to speak with social media veteran and thought leader, Scott Monty.

Scott led social at Ford Motor Company for years and recently joined Shift Communications, a PR agency in NY, Boston, Austin and San Francisco.

Our conversation with Scott ranged from photo editing apps to gas price tools to the tweets of Sherlock Holmes (Scott runs the original Sherlock podcast and blog at IhearofSherlock.com).

I recommend you listen to the full podcast below or download it on iTunes to listen to later. It was a really fun chat and Scott is truly a technology geek like all of us.

Listen to the full episode here:

One of the more practical topics we spoke to Scott about was his content curation strategy. Scott curates a ton of content for very unique audiences and has been doing it for some time.

Below are his secrets for curating high quality, unique content and the tools he uses to make that process easier.

If you have not already subscribed to get the latest episodes of the Social Toolkit podcast, you can do that on iTunes here, or search for the “social toolkit” on the podcast app of your choice.

1. Be passionate about the topic

scott monty style

Photo credit: Rosh Sillars rosh.com

Scott’s content curation is a three-pronged approach, topic-wise.

Scott hosts a podcast about Sherlock Holmes and runs a blog on the same topic. Probably the most niche of his efforts, Scott’s podcast was the first Sherlockian podcast and has logged years worth of episodes. His Sherlock fandom is a true passion that he pursues as a hobby.

In addition to creating original interviews and content for the podcast, Scott also curates a large amount of Sherlock news for his audience.

His other two content curation focus points are digital marketing and men’s style.

Some of the content he curates will overlap between two of the categories he focuses on (Sherlock was a snappy dresser after all). Some of the tools he uses are unique to one category or the other. And other tools are used universally.

2. Start with email newsletters

adage daily email newsletter signup box screenshot

The first step in Scott’s curation strategy for his digital marketing focus is to select a large list of quality publishers to filter from. Scott starts this process in email. He subscribes to email newsletters from Adage, Emarketer, MarketingCharts, Econsultancy, and a dozen more.

These email newsletters are sources that Scott trusts to delivery quality and unique content. He is not relying on sites like Mashable and Techcrunch. Instead he wants to seek out content that his audience may not have seen yet.

“It’s really easy to get sucked into the bubble that you and your colleagues are in. There is more to the web than just these 20 links that I see every day,” said Monty.

Scott skims his email subscriptions, looking for unique and significant stories he can share.

3. Setup Twitter lists

twitter list scott monty gentleman's guide screenshot

Scott also uses Twitter lists as a major source of content that he eventually shares to a larger audience.

For Scott, Twitter is much more valuable when he uses finely tuned lists to help curate the content he sees. Instead of following the main Twitter feed, he has populated the lists with people of importance to him and his interests.

Here are a few of the Twitter lists Scott follows whether focused on a vertical category or geography:

Tweetdeck is Scott’s primary tool for sorting and following his various Twitter Lists. On mobile he uses the native Twitter app keeping up with Twitter Lists.

4. Use Flipboard and Scoop.it to filter

gentleman's guide to good living flipboard screenshot

Links that are “worthy of further thought” from Scott’s Gmail filtering or Twitter list reading get bookmarked into Flipboard and/or Scoop.it.

Scott has three Flipboard magazines that help him filter through all the content:

  1. This Week in Digital
  2. I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere
  3. Gentleman’s Guide to Living Well

He uses Flipboard and Scoop.it both as bookmarking tools and as distribution tools, “both a reference point and a repository.”

If you go to ScottMonty.com you can find his “This Week in Digital” Flipboard magazine to browse the same article that he uses for his more distilled weekly email of the same name.

“Flipboard is very powerful for curation and sharing,” said Monty.

Flipboard works for any device for desktop, it works really well for sharing curated content.

Scoop.it – Preprogram the content so that it is filtered with rules. Helps automate some of the filtering that Scott would normally do manually.

5. Create A Consistent Distribution Channel

this week in digital newsletter on scottmonty dot com screenshot

For Scott’s digital marketing content, he creates a weekly email newsletter, “This Week in Digital.” You can read it and subscribe here.

He looks for trends in the stories he finds compelling that week as well as opportunities to contrast related content. He adds his thought leadership and provides all the original links for his readers to dive deeper if they so choose.

These emails are in depth and really well done. Scott shared with us the amount of work he puts in to pull all this off.

He spends between 30-45 minutes each day reviewing content and filtering it into his bookmarks. Some of that happens while he is in line checking out at the grocery store, thanks to the powerful Flipboard app and the general mobile friendly nature of Scott’s curation process.

And to actually write his “This Week in Digital” newsletter he spends a couple hours each week the night before it goes out.

ihearofsherlock podcast soundcloud page screenshot

Scott also has been producing his “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere” podcast for 7 years now, since 2007.

With both of these long running pieces of content, Scott has a dedicated medium that he sticks to. The consistency in both the quality of product and frequency over time, increases the trust of the audience and keeps them coming back.

Scott Monty’s Complete Toolkit

Phone: iPhone6
Oher Hardware: M-Audio Pre-USB amp and MXL V63M condenser studio microphone for podcast recording
Saves time: Evernote
Saves money: GasBuddy
Organization: Google’s Inbox
Top Social Network: Facebook
Top 3 Social Tools: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin
Content Discovery: Email newsletters and Twitter Lists
Photography: Native iPhone 6 app, Camera+, Instagram, Waterlogue and Tagg.ly
Publishing: Buffer, Bit.ly, TweetDeck, native websites/apps for social networks
Automation: IFTT, TwitterFeed, Libsyn’s built-in cross-posting capabilities for podcasts
Analytics: Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, Buffer, Bit.ly, Flipboard and Scoop.it
Game: Two Dots
Post Author

As the CEO and founder of Social Fresh, Jason is the lead analyst and consultant for all Social Fresh brand clients. Jason has 15+ years of experience as a marketing leader and focuses on how to help brands be more...