Content curation sites are exploding in popularity all over the Internet. And for good reason too – with so much information available online now it can be difficult, not to mention time consuming or disconcerting, to find the right content for your needs. Content curation is a technique to find, gather and present highly selective online content around specific topics. It is ideal for filtering out a lot of irrelevant content so that you spend less time searching, and more time learning. Or so you might think!
Content, however, comes in a multitude of formats and styles, and from a multitude of sources – it is way more than what you would typically assume for “content” (e.g. articles, blog posts, videos, photos or news). It also includes products (e.g. datasheets or product reviews) and services (e.g. business services or consultancy), and plenty more.
The point is this: trying to search for content in a world of SEO, digital advertising and ever-evolving search algorithms is not as easy or rewarding as it should be. Artificial intelligence harvests anything it’s told to harvest, but is skewed by advertising – it has no logic or human intelligence being applied. Therefore trying to find specifically what you want when you have the world’s knowledge and information at your digital fingertips can sometimes be impossible!
Wouldn’t it be far better to have the search results ranked by real people, instead of a machine? Wouldn’t you rather trust the search results if they’d had human rankings applied to them as well?
Introducing ZEEF, which recently secured $1.55M for their free crowdsourced link directory. Their philosophy is that online search is better when it has human intelligence applied on to. Quite simply ZEEF is a link directory and content curation tool on steroids!
“Filtering the world’s information using human knowledge” is ZEEF’s mission statement. Their aim of helping people create subject pages, share their knowledge and help others find the right information, quickly, easily and effectively is apparent early on. Not only does ZEEF allow you to create “top links” and group them into useful resources pages (perfect for presenting list posts). The goal of ZEEF is to curate the Internet and help others find great content. ZEEF made it easy for curators to select the top results of search engines and select links.
Content curation at ZEEF is based on the concept that humans select the content that they think brings the most value and could be useful. The knowledge and opinion of the platform users is aggregated in one place and organized in collections of links. Let’s say that you want to find information about social media tools but you are very new in the field. As a visitor of the ZEEF platform you can search for the best social media tools and find what has been already recommended and selected by the platform curators.
In the digital age such help is very important. If you do not know anyone who could recommend you the tools, normally you have to scroll through the whole Internet searching but the platform facilitates the process. ZEEF does host these experts under one roof so there is no need to filter the web using search engines yourself. The information has already been filtered by other passionate people.
Once registered as a user of the platform, you can become a curator yourself. This allows you to start selecting, adding and favoriting the content, for instance, creating the list of your own best social media tools. Let’s dive into the dashboard!
You can use the Curate Panel to quickly find links through traditional search engines, like Google and Bing, and import and re-rank them based on your own judgment.
Once logged in you are taken to your dashboard. Here you can edit and update your profile and, if you’re a publisher, your earnings information. You can view and manage all your pages as well as check the status for each of them.
Within your dashboard you can also view your statistics. ZEEF’s statistics are very detailed and one of the main features that we found are very useful. You can filter them from all time right through to today/yesterday etc. The stats highlight several important metrics:
- Top Pages
- Top Links
- Top Traffic Referral Sources
Also in the dashboard you have the ability to create as many pages as you desire. ZEEF has 3 different types of pages: subject, company or personal.
We created a company page that showcased our social media profiles as well as a few of our services and recent blog posts. It’s a great way to display an overview of the most useful links of your website.
You can add unlimited blocks, which can either be links, image, RSS feeds or text.
Let’s take a look now at the subject pages – after all this is where the magic happens and is the perfect way to share your knowledge of topics that you are passionate about! At Comms Axis we love tool posts, they are one of our most successful types of content although they take considerable time to research and create!
The beauty of creating a subject page with ZEEF is that others can add recommended / suggested links (you simply choose to approve them or not). As you can see from the image below, we created an Automated Tools subject page to test it out – the highlighted links have been recommended from other ZEEF users and they appeared in no time at all making it really useful.
With all pages you can add multiple blocks (think of a “page” as a “category”, and then a “block” as a “sub-category” to keep similar content and lists all together!) and you have the option to edit the name of the link as well as provide a description. You can also search for links that are similar to an existing link.
Users can show their appreciation to other curator’s pages by clicking the thumbs up button. Users can also follow a page, which is particularly helpful if you want to stay up-to-date with any new links that are added. If you want to connect or ask a question to the person who has curated the page simply send him an email.
Blocks and the layout of your page(s) can be edited, while moving blocks is very easy to do: simply drag them from their current position and then drop them where you would prefer them to be.
Monetise and share your content
One of the key features of ZEEF is the ability to add widgets to your own website, which is again very easy to do. Users have two choices – they can embed one specific link block to a website page or alternatively they can embed a collection of link blocks and allow the widgets.
Widgets are perfect for bloggers and website owners who want to monetise their content. If you are already using Google AdSense or considering having advertising on your site to generate an income then ZEEF could be the perfect solution for you. The advantage of having a widget is its relevancy – you can enhance your advertising space by showing widgets that complement your website and which are completely appropriate to your content. You can also customise the design of your widget.
More importantly you don’t have to apply or join any affiliate programs. ZEEF’s affiliate connector does this for you. ZEEF automatically detects any monetised links and deals with all the tracking. As a publisher, within your dashboard you can see clearly any money you have earned as well as easily receive your income. According to ZEEF’s testing, their widget outperforms Google AdSense by 15 times in clicks – pretty impressive stats!
Again, ZEEF provides a full range of stats so you can see how well your widget(s) is performing; you are able to compare the page, block and links.
Overall we have been really impressed with ZEEF. As a content curation and link directory tool it ticks a lot of boxes – simple to use, easy navigation, great way to find and share content and the statistics feature gets a big thumbs up from us. Their monetary features are an added bonus and we can see how a lot of bloggers and website owners will benefit from this.
Are you using content curation tools? Have you tried out ZEEF? Let us know in your comments 🙂
Dan Purvis writes for a number of leading business, social media and marketing sites, including Smart Insights, Marketo, MarTech Advisor, Marketing Tech News, MarTech Today, MarTech Exec, and Business2Community. Dan's also ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing & Social Media influencers.
Dan is passionate about the philosophy behind Comms Axis: we bring content, marketing and sales together to connect businesses with their audiences.
We pride ourselves on delivering tangible business value and ROI alongside excellent customer service. We work with a broad range of clients and industries, from B2B to B2C, from technology to cosmetics, from start-ups / SoHos to pan-European and global brands.
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