The Psychology Behind Curation: Why We Love to Read Curated Content

The practice of collecting is ingrained in human culture, and can be found in every era, religion and continent around the world. From stamps and oil paintings to taxidermy and teaspoons, collecting and displaying possessions shows that we still like to hunt and gather that missing piece, just like our ancestors.

Now that our world is more technologically and socially advanced than ever before, collecting is no longer just about keeping possessions to ourselves, it’s about sharing our finds and creating our own little galleries or lists of content on sites such as Pinterest and Reddit.

Increasingly there are also more and more websites out there that are doing the hard work for us, pulling in the best content from around the web for us to read, in the form of AllTop.com and Buzzfeed to name but a few. Content curation has become a buzzword and a key digital marketing tactic in recent months, but why is it so successful, and what makes the audience come back for more?

It’s Easy

The practice of collecting things is a relaxing pastime and, as much as we all love it, the internet is often the least relaxing space to be, especially when you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, or the exact opposite – you’re bombarded with information that could take weeks to sift through. With content curation, you’ve been presented with a cherry picked version of the internet, filled only with relevant information and entertainment.

It’s Social

The reason we love absorbing information in this way could be that looking at (good) content curation is like having someone dip into your mind and plucking out thoughts, ideas and imagery surrounding your favourite subjects. Curation exposes us to a whole new wave of influential people who love what we love and write, report on or photograph it too. It allows us to connect with specific communities and take part by ‘liking’ content and sharing it within our own circles.

It’s Educational

Apparently our attention spans are dwindling by the second, so having a selection of content that’s visually appealing to skim through makes life easier. If we want to read the full article we’ll click through to the original site and if we don’t well then, we’ve probably learned all we need to know from that annotated photo.

It’s Currency

Content curation provides readers with blogging content for their own websites in numerous ways, making it valuable. From giving you access to an expert in your chosen field and links to how-to ideas that your Twitter followers would love, to inspiration for that next post or content for your own curation platform.

So that might go some way to explaining your Pinterest addiction! What’s your favourite aspect of using content curation sites? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Elise Lévêque is a blogger with a passion for all things social media. She uses bloggingedge.com to help her connect with brands and she loves nothing more than perusing Pinterest when she gets the chance.

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