4 SemiAutomatic Content Curation Tools

Coming up with fresh and engaging content for web sites and blogs can be very time consuming. Add to that the efforts of SEO and social media marketing to promote the content, and there may not be much of the day left when you are finished.

That is where content curation tools come in handy. In this article, we look at four such tools: Tagboard; Paper.li; Scoop.it; and RebelMouse.

The reason that these are listed as semiautomatic is because there is an automatic function in all four of these tools (some more than others), but there is also a manual function in all four (some more than others).

These particular tools help with content promotion (of your own content) and also help with curating relevant content from other sources. Depending on your strategy, these tools can be used to augment your existing strategy. For exceptional curation, it is possible that some entities focus more on curating other brand content than producing their own original content.  It all relates back to your own strategy for your brand.



Tagboard is one of the newer tools that I have personally added to my tool box. I had the opportunity to interview co-founder Tim Shimotakahara this week (below). Truly, Tagboard is actually a tool that would be used in a live, televised event (as an example). However, there is also a free version that would be relevant to the tools listed in this article.

The free version allows you to put together a grid-like tagboard where you can display your #hashtag based content.

Automatic Portion of Tagboard:
Once a hashtag is designated, Tagboard automatically pulls content from the designated social profiles to display them in a grid manner for the user’s profile.

Manual Portion of Tagboard:
There is a default display for the hashtag. There is also the capability of creating a featured board, via an additional tab on your tagboard. The user may manually click on the “feature” button on applicable posts to feature that social item on the featured board. This is an optional curation step, to “curate the conversation.”

Example Uses of Tagboard:
Twitter Chats are an excellent use of the free version of Tagboard. This is a way to create a sort of virtual pinboard grid of all of the tweets from the Twitter Chat.  It could also be used to enhance an event, even a Google Hangout. Anything that involves a hashtag may be displayed via Tagboard.



Paper.li is an online newspaper. It is a great way to curate the content and have a newspaper to display to your site visitors, as well as an option for your visitors to become subscribers of this newsletter.

Automatic Portion of Paper.li:
After the setup process of paper.li, choosing the content sources and hashtags (among other settings), paper.li will begin gathering the content. A great way to automate it is to have paper.li choose content with a specific hashtag or even Twitter username.

Another fun feature of Paper.li is the automatic tweeting to let people know that they have been quoted (@mention) in your Paper.li paper. This provides additional exposure for your paper and your brand, as well as an opportunity to engage with “news spotters.”

Manual Portion of Paper.li:
While it is possible to just let Paper.li run without interference, it is recommended that you check the paper every time it is published (the frequency can be set by you). That way, you can ensure that undesirable content is not included in your paper or emailed to your subscribers.  The paid version allows a draft mode, but you can still modify the paper in the free version, even after it is published.  There is a bookmarklet available to share content on the fly from any web site.  This bookmarklet is available in the settings section of your specified paper.

Example Uses of Paper.li:
If you are running a contest, you can create a special paper around the contest. The content that includes the hashtag will automatically be picked up by Paper.li, assuming you have set it up that way.  You would be able to promote the Paper.li paper as an additional promotional benefit for your participating contestants.

Another use is to distribute a newspaper version of your brand’s content.  This can be done automatically by choosing settings that only add content from a specific brand source.  You can further customize it by including the specific hashtag from the brand account, in the Paper.li settings.  Add to that, the use of the customized bookmarklet and your resulting newspaper is almost as customized as if you had created it from scratch.



Scoop.it is a bit more manual than some of the other tools, but it also has its benefit, as a result.  Scoop.it is a tool that does what it sounds like it does.  It goes out and finds content related to your desired focus (topic).  Then, you can set it up to email you to let you know that new content has been found for you, so you can “scoop it.”  You can bypass the email notifications and simply login to check your scoops, manually.

Automatic Portion of Scoop.it:

The automatic portion of this tool is its ability to find the content that you desire.  You let Scoop.it know what you want to target and it will go out and find the content.  The sources, like other tools, are dependent on whether you use the free version or an upgraded paid version.  The benefit is that it will find content that you may not have thought of before, operating as your own automatic researcher.

Manual Portion of Scoop.it:

Once you have list of suggested content, you can “scoop it” into your topic.  For the free account, you can add 10 suggested content pieces to your topic per day.  Like the other curation sites, there is a bookmarklet available to share content on the fly from any web site.

Example Uses of Scoop.it:

There are many different uses for Scoop.it.  You could use your board to highlight related content or for increased brand exposure.  Another use for Scoop.it is to collect content for writing.  The tool works in the background (automated) and then you can visit to select the articles that you may want to feature in your next article.  It is a great tool for inspiring ideas for your own content, as well.



RebelMouse functions in a similar way as the other tools in automatically pulling content related to, say, your Twitter account.  Other social profiles may also be added.  A nice page is created and it is even able to be used as a home page on your web site, creating a simplified, faster way, to maintain your site.

Automatic Portion of RebelMouse:

Similar to the other tools, RebelMouse grabs content like your Twitter posts (tweets) and those mentioning you on Twitter.  If you tend to tweet media rich content and other’s retweet you or tweet your media posts, you can have an automated rich media experience for your viewers.   Also, RebelMouse can pull content from many different sources and not just Twitter.  These include Facebook, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, and more.

Manual Portion of RebelMouse:

Using Twitter as an example, those tweets that do no include media are put into a drafts area where you can choose whether or not they are added.  If most of your content is media-rich and you are not as selective and want all of the content to appear, there is less manual work to be done.  After you login, you can access the bookmarklet available to share content on the fly from any web site, as an additional opportunity to add content from the web.

Example Uses of RebelMouse:

As mentioned above, the RebelMouse material may also be used as a home page.  There is even a WordPress plugin that may be used to insert it into the WordPress as the home page.  There are also opportunities to use it on other pages in the site as well.  This creates an ever-changing web site with less manual effort, maximizing the return on investment for your time spent.

Other Tools

There are also other tools, like Storify, which help you to curate content through search and click. In the example of Storify, it may be more on the manual process, but it does provide search access to many other sources, including Twitter, and even SoundCloud. Also, many social media marketing tools have suggested content that is built-in on their dashboard, allowing you to curate content from within the sharing tool. Examples are Buffer, Hootsuite, and PostPlanner.

Now it is your turn. What tools do you use to curate content? How is it working for you? We would love to hear your story. And, don’t forget, you can even use Meddle.It (another excellent tool!) to share a longer entry on what you use for your content curation needs.

Written by
Deborah Anderson
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