Storify's top tips for curating with ease.

Good curation is the key to unlocking user-generated content's potential. Here are some of our favorite tips to have you curating like a pro in no time.

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  1. Here at Livefyre, it's no secret that we're big on user-generated content (UGC). Whether it's being sourced in Storify stories or embedded by brands and publishers elsewhere, the possibilities for UGC to help tell a story or contribute to an experience are nearly endless, and we think it's a gold mine for storytellers and content creators.
  2. But not all UGC is created equal. Finding the right tweet or image can make all the difference to readers when quoting someone during breaking news or educating customers about your brand. This is where good curation comes in.
  3. We know - "curation" can sound like a time-consuming task akin to panning for valuable nuggets in the endless rivers of social media. But it really shouldn't -- the truth is a ton of tools are available right now that can expose you to the motherlode of that UGC goldmine.
  4. Here are some curation tips we've learned from watching thousands of Livefyre customers and millions of Storify storytellers curate over the years.
  5. Before you face the firehose, be prepared

  6. Obsessive business man cleaning fire hose
    Obsessive business man cleaning fire hose
  7. Over two billion pieces of social content are posted every day, so if you're charging into search fields with nothing more than a trending topic, you'll be hit with a deluge of posts from the social search firehose.
  8. Before you get started, ask yourself a couple questions about your story's topic.
  9. Is your story or audience centered in a certain city or region?
  10. If so, geo-locate your results. This is the secret to many of the "what locals think" stories you see online. On Storify for instance, finding out what people in LA think about a topic is as easy as typing "Los Angeles" in the location of your search:
  11. You can also geo-locate your searches on Twitter in their advanced search area.
  12. Who might be the best source(s) for readers?
  13. As news breaks or major stories develop, your readers might be looking to hear from someone other than the armchair politician with 13 followers.
  14. Take a minute to see if anyone at the center of your story -- celebrities, politicians, organizations, brands, etc. -- has an official Twitter account or Facebook Page, then zero in on these instead of trying to pick them out of general searches.
  15. Sound like too much work? Well, chances are someone's already done this for you. There are endless Twitter Lists you can use that identify the best accounts for breaking news and brands, or even group together organizations and world leaders. These can help you identify and curate content from exactly who your story pertains to:
  16. A quick search should turn up lists for anything you might need:
  17. Bonus: Have a go-to Twitter List on hand? Use the "Lists" option in Storify's Twitter search to start pulling from it immediately!
  18. Use Filters

  19. No, we don't mean for your Instagram selfies. Many social services want you to find better content quickly, so they've developed APIs and search filters to help. If you're ignoring filters, you're missing big time-saving opportunities.
  20. On a basic level, these are things like distinguishing vs "Top" results (most engaged with) vs "All" results (the most recent results shown first). Try these for searches on YouTube or Twitter when needing a popular/relevant result in a pinch:
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