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Perfecting the art of content curation with the Startup Library

October 31, 2012

From the beginning, the goal of the Startup Library was to provide startups with market research resources they could use to make important market-related decisions both confidently and efficiently. The discovery, the credibility, the organization and the presentation of the content all mattered. In short, if the Startup Library was going to be a success it needed to have solid content curation.

With the ever-increasing volume of information and the complexities of information technology, content curation has become more of an art than a precise methodology, fostering the need for more advanced information filtration is a growing concern.

Earlier this year, Twitter attempted just that with the acquisition of Summify, an “intelligent” aggregator that used semantic recognition to collect links across similar themes. Six months later, the service was shut down. It is believed that Twitter is retooling this feature and will be incorporating it into its main service.

Whether or not Summify is a success is too early to say; however, it does illustrate how hard it is to come by meaningful curation. This may be an example of curation by way of aggregation, but does this type of curation have any meaning or usefulness for the user?

Maria Popova, the editor of Brain Pickings and the creator of The Curator’s Code, a standard for honouring attribution of discovery across the web, has stated that curation is more akin to pattern recognition: seeing various individual pieces and their similarities and spotting the larger trend; and storytelling: what story do these pieces tell and what statement does the context they create make about the world at large? Great content curation benefits from having a singular vision and strong narrative from the curator.

 

The curator’s code

The most valuable quality of the Startup Library is that it is a highly curatorial endeavour. In a given week, the MaRS Market Intelligence team sifts through thousands of sources of market-related information in an attempt to give MaRS clients the most up to date, relevant and usable market research to inform their decisions. One could say that the Startup Library is a culmination of those efforts as we’ve gone through the steps of discovery, filtering, framing, bookmarking, organizing and presenting these sources.

If you haven’t visited the Startup Library lately, now would be a good time to get reacquainted with this offering, as MaRS Market Intelligence has added new sections covering the topics of consumer digital health, e-commerce and education technology.

In these new sections you’ll find:

  • information and resources on sector-specific accelerators, incubators and funding sources;
  • trend reports and statistics on various geographic regions and markets; and
  • information on relevant associations and conferences.

Along with these new sections you’ll find:

  • “How-do-I?” guides for commonly asked market research questions, including information on Canadian and American markets and competitors;
  • annotated links to sections on lean startups, business models, funding and accelerators/incubators; and
  • feeds from a shared repository of bookmarks selected by MaRS Market Intelligence’s research experts.

The Startup Library is by no means complete. We will also be expanding it to include other sectors in the coming months, such as life sciences and cleantech.

We could also use some feedback and suggestions. If you’ve found any new resources you think we should incorporate, let us know (startuplibrary@marsdd.com). After all, the first step to great curation is discovery!

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