Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Bundle up: Packaging your curated content, for communicators

Few of my clients lack for content. On the contrary: They're swimming in it. But how should they make it available to public audiences? Bundles offer a useful way to organize, publish and share your content in ways that make sense for users, from customers and readers to reporters, donors and supporters.
Bundles gather together content based on a date, a theme, a sub-topic or an audience.  You'll be offering your users a valued curation service if you can bundle your information and make it available. The point here is less polishing, more providing--you want to offer information in ways that let your users find it easily, then do what they will with it.

Now, what can you bundle--and how? Here are some  resources to consider:

  • Bit.ly, the URL shortening tool, now offers you the chance to create bundles of links under a single URL with Bit.ly bundles.  You can customize them in several ways, including the order and how they're described--and you get the same metrics Bit.ly offers for shortened links. This is a great way to drive users around your website, based on their interests--think of Bit.ly bundles to help new students, first-time buyers, folks searching for experts on a particular subject. If you have an online profile, use this tool to give recruiters and colleagues a single link to several of your articles, videos, or work projects. Read more about them on Mashable and Lifehacker.
  • Google Reader, my RSS reader of choice, lets you create bundles that are essentially lists of feeds you're reading on any topic--or every topic.  This post tells you how to create a Google Reader bundle, which you can share on the site with your followers, who can then subscribe to that entire list of feeds with a click.  You also can publish the bundle on your blog or website.  I often recommend you share what you're reading to demonstrate your expertise, and this is an easy and comprehensive way to do that. Communicators, think about creating bundles of what your experts or spokespeople or management are reading to share on your website.
  • Evernote notebooks can pick up where Delicious left off to bundle your bookmarks, since you can export them to Evernote and use its plugins that make it easy to save content right from a web page. Evernote also lets you create notebooks--which can contain your "bundles" of video, photos, audio and text--and share them via email or by providing access to particular individuals. This is a great collaboration and sharing tool that lets you pull a wide range of resources together. I recommend Evernote notebooks for giving background information to reporters, and for sharing the same set of information resources with key groups, like donors, board members and supporters. (Forget those bulky paper briefing books.)
Want to point us to bundles of content you've created? Share your links in the comments.
Clip to Evernote
Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook. Subscribe to For Communications Directors, my free monthly newsletter, which features content before it appears here on the blog.  Then head over to don't get caught on Facebook, where you'll see new social media trends, technology and communications issues as they crop up during the week--and great conversations with our community of communicators. And if you're looking for help with public speaking and presenting, check out our next Good On Your Feet! workshop, March 2 and 3 in Washington, DC. Subscribers to the newsletter get a 25 percent discount.

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