We all know morning people are said to have a business advantage, but what about those night owls? They’ve got a competitive edge, too. Here are their productivity tips for the wee hours
The world’s highest Tennis court stands atop the fourth highest and the only 7 stars hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab in Dubai. The tennis court is circular in shape ,and also doubles as a helipad, hovering 1000 feet above the Arabian gulf.
Steven Rosenbaum is the CEO of Magnify.net, a real-time video curation engine for publishers, brands, and websites. He’s also the author of Curation Nation.
You’ve heard the buzz word — curation — being thrown around like it’s a gadget we all know how to work. In reality, good content curation isn’t as simple as pushing a share button. It’s actually a combination of finding great content and following some simple best practices on how to successfully share that content.
If you’re a curator looking for some boundaries in what feels like the Wild West, here are five best practices to consider.
1. Be Part of the Content Ecosystem
Be part of the content ecosystem, not just a re-packager of it. Often, people think of themselves as either creators or curators as if these two things are mutually exclusive. What a curator really should do is embrace content as both a maker and an organizer. The most successful curators include sites like The Huffington Post, that embrace the three-legged-stool philosophy of creating some content, inviting visitors to contribute some content, and gathering links and articles from the web. Created, contributed, and collected — the three ‘c’s is a strong content mix that has a measurable impact. Why? Because your visitors don’t want to hunt around the web for related material. Once they find a quality, curated collection, they’ll stay for related offerings.
2. Follow a Schedule
Audiences expect some regularity, and they’ll reward you for it. It doesn’t need to be a schedule that you can’t keep up with. If you want to curate three new links a day, and write one big post a week, that’s a schedule. Make sure to post at the same time each week. This is so readers know when to expect new material from you. Consistency and regularity will also bring you new users, and help you grow a loyal base of members who appreciate your work. A good example of someone who gets why a schedule makes a difference is Jason Hirschhorn via his MediaReDEF newsletter. He never misses a publish date.
3. Embrace Multiple Platforms
It used to be that your audience came to you. Not anymore. Today content consumers get their information on the platform of their choosing. That means you should consider posting short bursts on Tumblr, images on Pinterest, video on YouTube, and community conversations on Facebook. And don’t leave out established sites and publishers. If your audience hangs out on a blog, you may want to offer that publication some guest posts or even a regular column. Essentially, you have to bring your content contributions to wherever your readers may be.
4. Engage and Participate
Having a voice as a curator means more than creating and curating your own work. Make sure you’re giving back by reading others and commenting on their posts. A re-tweet is one of the easiest ways to help build relationships with fellow bloggers and curators. And your followers will appreciate that you’ve pointed them to good content. One word here, I never hit an RT without clicking through to read what I’m recommending. You can also lose followers if you don’t put in the effort to recommend material that you really think merits their attention.
5. Share. Don’t Steal.
Take the time to give attribution, link backs, and credit. The sharing economy works because we’re each sharing our audiences, and providing the value of our endorsements. If you pick up someone’s work and put it on your blog, or mention a fact without crediting the source, you’re not building shared credibility. You’re just abusing someone else’s effort.
The important thing to realize is that we’re increasingly living in a world of information overload. So when people choose to listen to you it’s because you’re able to separate signal from noise. You provide a clear, contextually relevant voice within the topic or topics that you create and curate.
Christopher Bonanos has written an excellent essay for the New York Times about another man who blended art and science to produce extraordinary products: Edwin Land of Polaroid.
Steve Jobs idolized Edwin Land, and it’s clear he learned a lot from him.
Like Jobs, Land dropped out of college. Like Jobs, Land obsessed about function and form. Like Jobs, Land scoffed at the idea of “market research.” (Both men believed that consumers don’t know what they want until they see it.)
Like Jobs, Land built a beloved company that was (for a while) the toast of Wall Street and Main Street alike. Like Jobs, Land rolled out his products in gigantic presentations:
Starting in the 60s, he began to turn Polaroid’s shareholders’ meetings into dramatic showcases for whatever line the company was about to introduce. In a perfectly art-directed setting, sometimes with live music between segments, he would take the stage, slides projected behind him, the new product in hand, and instead of deploying snake-oil salesmanship would draw you into Land’s World. By the end of the afternoon, you probably wanted to stay there.
Like Jobs, Land created products that were “coveted luxury objects.” (See the SX-70 from the 1970s below).
Also like Jobs, Land was tossed out of his company, which then fell on hard times. But unlike Jobs, Land died before he could be brought back to save it.
Steve Jobs knew Edwin Land and thought the world of him:
“The man is a national treasure. I don’t understand why people like that can’t be held up as models: This is the most incredible thing to be — not an astronaut, not a football player — but this.”
Land blew it before leaving Polaroid, spending billions developing an instant movie product called “Polavision,” which Sony’s Betamax destroyed. At least in his second act at Apple, Jobs made no such mistakes.
After Land was forced out at Polaroid, the company lost its edge and then ultimately failed. After Steve Jobs left Apple the first time, the same thing happened to Apple (the only thing that saved it from bankruptcy was Steve’s return).
The question now, of course, is what happens to Apple in Steve’s absence. The company will be led by exactly the same people who have led it for the past decade, so in the short term the company will probably be fine.
But the idea of “losing its edge” is important. And if Apple does begin to change for the worse without Steve, this will likely be what happens.