Social media curation with Keepstream: skip or join?

This post was originally intended to be about the relatively new phenomenon of social media curation and a comparison between two of the more prolific players in the field Keepstream and Curated.by. And even though some of the functionality of the latter is really nice, they’ve disqualified themselves from being in this post by changing some of the functionality in such a way that it now is too complex to use the service if you do not use Google Chrome. So, the question of today is: social media curation with Keepstream, skip or join?

What is it?
Social media curation allows you to build collections of tweets, facebook status updates and other content. It is a way to organize what’s being said about a certain topic, in a discussion or about a brand or person. With the still increasing stream of status updates on social networks, it becomes increasingly difficult to organize this around a certain topic. And if you want to share this, it is next to impossible to keep it clean. Some blogs have used screen prints of individual tweets to quote them, but that is very laborious to do. Social media curations allows you to easily collect and share messages from social networks.

How does it Work?
Keepstream, as said, is one of the social media curation services on offer now, and it works very intuitively, meaning you do not necessarily need the help section to start. Users can create collections, and then easily add individual messages to that collection, based on basic twitter and facebook functionality like your regular stream, mentions and searches. Once you have your initial collection completed, you can sort it in any way you like. And then, you publish it. This makes the collection available on the Keepstream website. You can also embed the collection on your own website, and that’s where it becomes interesting. If you followed or organized a discussion around a subject, it is easy in this way to refer to that in an article on a blog or news site.Or as a conference organizer, you can now easily collect and publish tweets that were sent out during that conference. You can also collect messages about your product or service, to use as a reference: ‘This is what people are saying about us’. As an example, at the bottom of this post, I embedded a keepstream collection I created yesterday. I was in an hour long debate on twitter to improve a concept I contributed to open innovation platform Open Planet Ideas. I collected the tweets for future reference, and to update my concept at a later stage.

What is good, and what could be improved?
What I like about Keepstream is that it is easy to use. I also think social media curation is a great help for creating order in the sometimes chaotic social media landscape. Despite being in public beta, the functionality that Keepstream offers works. And they respond to questions accurately and quickly. That is basically also what put me off from Curated.by. I had to beg for an invite for the private beta, and functionality did not work properly, or suddenly disappeared.
What could be improved by Keepstream is first of all the obvious: adding more social networks than Twitter and Facebook. But that is something that can be expected in the foreseeable future. And as said, they offer functionality that works. So when they’ll add this, it will probably work fine. Another thing that could be improved is the embedding function. Again, it works, but it is not easy to manage it’s appearance to be more in line with the design of a website.

The Verdict: Skip or Join?
Maybe not for everybody, but if you have ever referred to a tweet, either on a blog, website or in a presentation, the verdict is simple: join.

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