The indexed web currently contains at least 7.39 billion pages. That’s an insane amount of information to sift through, which is why good web curators are such an indispensable resource. Curators are people who find and share quality sources of information with others. In order to get an idea of what that looks like let’s take a look at a few of the best curated content examples on the web today.

kottke.org

Jason Kottke is an American blogger and former web designer currently living in New York City. He has won a Lifetime Achievement Award as a blogger for his content curation work on kottke.org.

http://www.kottke.org/

Kottke.org is one of the longest continuously running blogs on the web, having been in operation for 14+ years.

Jason Kottke has struck a wonderful balance of being a normal human, who his readers care about, is apparently interested in everything, and has excellent taste.

Jason’s site is the best curated content example on the web that I have found.

The Feature

Formerly known as Give Me Something to Read, The Feature is a collection of long form web articles hand picked by Richard Dunlop-Walters at the behest of Instapaper.

http://thefeature.net/

The Feature began as an experiment from Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper:

A script would show me the most-saved recent articles from Instapaper, and every weekday morning on the train, I’d sort through a few hundred of the most popular articles and publish links to 3–5 of my favorite general-interest pieces.

Over time Marco began accepting contributions from people, and eventually hired his best contributor as an editor (Richard Dunlop-Walters). Marco and Richard are curating content from a list of crowd-sourced articles by popularity, and the quality of their output is amazing.

The Book Cover Archive

The Book Cover Archive archive of book cover designs and designers for the purpose of appreciation and categorization.

http://bookcoverarchive.com/

This has become the largest archive of book covers on the web. The supplemented information is always complete and accurate. This example is a testament to the great possibilities of curating content to categorize, store, and archive valuable information.

Retronaut

The past is a foreign country, this is your passport.

http://www.retronaut.co/

This is one of my personal favorites. I love old stuff, and Retronaut delivers incredibly interesting photos from the past. It’s incredible what you’ll learn about history from this site. Chris Wild has provided solid curated content examples for some time, and I hope he doesn’t have any plans to stop in the future.

All of the images you see online are curated from various national archives, public libraries, and government sites. Each entry has a link back to the source with more information about the photo.

Daring Fireball

A Mac column in the form of a weblog.

http://daringfireball.net/

John Gruber is a writer and Apple enthusiast from the greater Philadelphia area. He curates Apple-related content and sometimes general technology on his blog, Daring Fireball.

CMO

CMO.com is the senior marketing executive’s one-stop shop for digital marketing insight.

http://www.cmo.com

The site aims to help CMOs stay informed and save time so they can more effectively lead their companies in the digital world.

CMO curates content for a specific audience — senior marketing executives. It takes the form of a news site, but provides a good resource for the specified audience.

Drudge Report

Known as one of the ugliest sites around, second to perhaps Craigslist.org, the Drudge Report is a prime example of the importance content has over design.

http://www.drudgereport.com/

Drudge has an enormous following with over half a million visits a day. This clearly demonstrates that well curated content is a tremendously valuable resource for people.

wimp.com

Like viral videos? Then check out wimp.com where the author curates the best videos on the Web. Suitable for all ages.

http://www.wimp.com

4-5 new videos are posted each night and the site receives boat-loads of web traffic because the videos are almost always interesting (especially if you’re into cats…).

But Does It Float

This curated art resource is always edgy and serves as a great source of inspiration for artists.

http://butdoesitfloat.com/

Curated by the creator of Cargo, Space Collective, Interaction Designer Folkert Gorter and art director Atley G. Kasky, this gallery is amazing and provides a welcome distraction between all of the Photoshop and web design galleries.

Ain’t Bad Magazine

Aint-Bad Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on the work of emerging photographers.

http://aintbadmagazine.com/

We support a progressive community of artists from around the world in a printed publication and web based forum. Our aim is to engage a discussion about contemporary culture and human nature through thought provoking imagery.

If you enjoy good photography, this is a great source for it. The quality provided by this curated resource has led to its inclusion into the ARTBOOK@ MoMA PS1’s newly inaugurated magazine shop.

Hacker News

Hacker News is a social news website about computer hacking and startup companies run by Paul Graham’s funding firm Y Combinator.

http://news.ycombinator.com/

It’s the best place to find news about programming, development, and hacking.

reddit

Reddit is a social news website where the registered users submit content, in the form of either a link or a text “self” post.

http://www.reddit.com/

Other users vote submissions “up” or “down”, which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site’s pages and front page.

Reddit is a top source for finding popular, real news around the web. It’s appropriately been dubbed the “front page of the internet”.

Inbound.org

Inbound.org is a for-fun partnership of Rand from SEOMoz and Dharmesh from HubSpot.

http://www.inbound.org

The goal of the site is to help people discover and share great stuff from the inbound marketing fields of blogging, SEO, social media, content marketing, conversion rate optimization, web analytics, and more.

This is a great example of how social ranking can be used to successfully curate content in a given niche.

In Conclusion

As you can see, content curation definitely has its place on the web. When done right it creates an indispensable resource for the right audience. For the most part, content curation comes down to the quality of the information that is curated and its ability to appeal to the right audience over time. There are many other sources of great curated content online, what are your favorites?

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