The dilemma of blogging continues. After an initial burst of creativity that resulted in several weeks of prepared and scheduled posts, time and attention have been diverted elsewhere, quite necessarily in most cases. Now, however, I find myself struggling to focus topic ideas, even as seeds for future posts, let alone composing complete articles.
What’s a “writer” to do?
Modern technology + social media platforms have made it much easier to both create and curate ideas (maybe TOO easy in some cases). As I continue to develop and maintain several (somewhat) interwoven accounts, I find it quite challenging to keep up with all that is available to read/consume, not to mention offering something of my own on a consistent basis. It all seems to render out to two basic options:
- Original Creation
This is certainly the option with the greatest flexibility and liberty. However, “original” may be a bit of a misnomer, insofar as anything created is influenced or inspired by something else, in reaction for or against that muse. It does offer the opportunity to more directly reveal those things that interest or aggravate me. It is solely MY spin/take on things, even if it already echoes numerous other voices. Colleagues have suggested allotting a dedicated time to intentionally work on the creative part of it, but if I’m being honest (and I’m really trying to be, at least with this), my time managements skills generally suck.
- Content Curation
This may seem to be almost a no-brainer, easier alternative to original creation. Content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. (Wikipedia)In its most basic form, we curate content each and every time we decide whether or not to Share or Re-Tweet, or whatever. Admittedly, there is not always a clear process of discernment applied by some regarding what gets passed around. Content curation, though, is (or should be) a much richer process than simply passing along whatever makes us LOL/ROFL/angry/etc.
Content curation is not a new phenomenon. Museums and galleries have curators to select items for collection and display. There are also curators in the world of media, for instance DJs of radio stations tasked with selecting songs to be played over the air. (Wikipedia) [Author’s note: I believe the DJ example is no longer entirely as valid as it was in decades past. Perhaps that’s another topic for another post.]
A colleague of mine offered this consideration, as I began wrestling with social media identity and engagement: “Curator of other’s ideas – First, curating quality content is a very important part of using social media for ministry. For many people, that IS their voice – they become known as a filter for the best information/links/resources on a given topic.” (@rev_david)
If I am curating, I am using others’ as a means to speak. If I am curating, I am acting more as a tour guide.
If I am creating, I am speaking for myself, often without consideration of whether anyone is actually interested.
If you are curious what some factors to consider for original content creation, this might be helpful:
Original Content Considerations
If you are curious about online content curation, I think this is a good place to start:
HootSuite Content Curation Guide
(Y’see, simply by providing the above links, I have curated some content for you! Its THAT easy!)
What is your preference as a reader/consumer? As a creator?
BTW, I’m guessing this isn’t really new, unexplored territory for you, but for me it simply was a topic that help my attention/consideration in my ongoing discernment.