In the past, I’ve written about the importance of setting up custom newsfeeds for current publications in your field, and using Citeulike to share references. While these tools can be useful for discovering and archiving content, they are not ideal for sharing and disseminating it. Gathering content and distilling it for others is an art: the art of content curation.
Lately I’ve been using Scoop.it for content curation and outreach. I created two main channels: one for science stories in the news, and another for new research in my field of fungal genetics. By picking a key paragraph from the discussion or abstract, as well as a catchy image, I can easily pin small blurbs for each article (called scoops) to a news stream. Each feed is easy to skim through, can be tagged and annotated, and allows me to easily review articles I was interested in. RSS feeds for each topic can be fed elsewhere, such as a flagship brand website.
Perhaps most importantly, Scoop.it integrates other social media quite handily. By default, I tweet all of my scoops. Articles of general interest (generally from my science news stream) I often post to Facebook, which sometimes trigger a discussion. This keeps me engaged in science communication, as well as in practice using social media (that I might otherwise let lie fallow).
There are certainly other tools for content aggregation, but the free Scoop.it account works quite well (a subscription offers several handy features, including sharing curation duties for a topic with others). Feel free to leave a comment recommending other services.