In Part 1, I argued that curating the content of others was an excellent way to start creating content of one’s own, whether your goal is advancing your career or starting a business.

Now I want to answer the question: how exactly do I curate content?

In this guide I’ll share the best of what I’ve discovered.

There are 7 core lessons I’ve settled on:

  1. Create a repository of valuable, pre-selected material
  2. Learn (and fail) in public
  3. Weave the personal and the objective
  4. Provide value back to the people you curate
  5. Always be pitching something
  6. Feed and tune your network
  7. Curate for yourself

1. Create a repository of valuable, pre-selected material

This is probably the most fundamental lesson, not only for content curation but for knowledge work in general. That’s why it’s the primary focus in my online course Building a Second Brain.

It’s impossible to curate effectively just by sharing things on social media as you come across them. There’s no chance that you’ll know whether something is “the best” if you’re evaluating it in isolation. The value you provide is putting it into a broader context or narrative. And that requires collecting things in a repository before sharing them.

In 16th and 17th century Europe, it was fashionable for the wealthy and educated to keep a Wunderkammern, a “wonder chamber” or “cabinet of curiosities,” in their homes. These rooms were filled with interesting or rare artifacts – books, skeletons, jewels, shells, art, plants, minerals, taxidermy specimens, stones – from around the world. They were demonstrations of their owner’s intellect and hunger for knowledge. These collections were the precursors to modern museums, as places dedicated to the study of history, nature, and the arts.

You should do the same with your personal knowledge collection. Start by collecting a small set of valuable sources and personal insights for your own use. As it gains in size and value, start opening it to friends and colleagues. Eventually, you’ll have so much material that you can create “virtual exhibitions” for sharing publicly, which can be nothing more than websites, image galleries, or downloadable PDFs.

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