Creating topics to discover great content suggestions to curate (Scoop.it)

Scoop.it's smart suggestion engine crawls more than 30 million web pages every day so you don't have to. Simply give us a few keywords and we'll find content gems that you can easily curate and publish. This article explains how to get started and how to make the most of this great technology.

Having problems? Check out our troubleshooting and optimization guide.

1. What's a topic?

A topic is first and foremost the subject matter you want Scoop.it to help you curate and publish content on. It consists of:

- a topic title to identify it subject;
- one or several keywords that Scoop.it will use to search and suggest content related to that topic;
- the language you're using for that topic;
- a topic page that will archive and display all the curated content you publish on that topic and that you can use as a blog or content hub.

2. Creating your first topic

When you sign up for your account, the first thing you'll be prompted to do is create your topic.

Next, select the language for your suggestions, ie the language you'd like to curate and receive content suggestions in. Note: while the Scoop.it site is in English, you can discover, curate and publish content in whatever language you wish.



Finally, enter some keywords that are related to the content you plan on sharing on your topic page. We will use these keywords to generate sources for your Suggestion Engine and feed you content that comes from these sources from around the web. For example, if you're curating on Marketing News, you might want to enter "marketing, marketing news, trends in marketing" etc.

Click on Create a Topic and you're ready to go!

3. How to choose and refine your Keywords

You can edit the keywords you chose for your topic when you created it to fine tune your content suggestions. To do so open the suggestion panel of your topic and edit the keywords directly from there:


When you're done click Apply and Scoop.it will update its search for the best content matching these keywords.

4. Choose specific keywords and combine them into keyword expressions

Be careful that some keywords might be too vague to specifically filter the content you want. For instance, if your topic is about "renewable energy market trends", energy will be too vague as it's also used as a noun in many common sentences. 

Note that keywords can be single words (eg: curation) or expressions (eg: content curation). To combine several words into an expression simply hit enter after the last word of the expression, eg: content curation, Be careful, "renewable energy" is not the same as "renewable" "energy":

  •  will return content with all the forms of the word renewable and energy (ex: renew, ernergies...). But the two words won't be necessarily close by the other. 
  •   will return the exact following word "renewable following by energy" - this is the exact match. The exact match is recommended for brand, acronym, proper noun, expression.
  • will return (1) content that mentions the word "renewable" (which is unspecific and vague) and (2) content that mentions "energy" (also unspecific and vague). 
  • When the exact match is not used (with quote) do not add any stop words (a, the, for, by, about...).
  •  You can also combine exact match and non exact match to improve the result.

Combining keyword is a great way to be more specific and get the content you really want to publish. 

5. Add your own sources

By upgrading to Scoop.it premium versions, you can fine tune your suggestions even further by using Scoop.it to suggest content filtered on your keywords from sources you trust. Let's say your audience is interested in big data and you trust Mashable as a news source for instance. Mashable doesn't always publish on big data but they occasionally do. And when they do, it's content you might want to curate and share as you like their content. Here's how you can use Scoop.it to suggest Mashable content about big data while ignoring the rest of their content. 

From your suggestion panel, click on "Advanced Configuration".


Here, you can manually add your own sources: RSS feeds from blogs or publishers you like but also sources from social networks or content platforms and even import your own OPML file (a standard for organizing RSS feeds that most RSS readers support). The Scoop.it Suggestion Engine will then filter your manually added sources according to your keywords. This is a great way of filtering a reputable blog to find just the posts that mention your keywords of interest. For instance, you can add MarketingProfs as a source and use keywords such as "social media" or "content marketing" to have only content from MarketingProfs on social media or content marketing.

Note that you can use custom searches in these advanced options, such as “#keyword” or “@keyword” for a custom twitter search. Also, you can use quotation marks to look for a phrase instead of isolated keywords.

Once you click Add, your sources will show in the right column. To remove a manually added source, simply click the trash icon next to it in the right column.



6. Making the most of the Scoop.it suggestion engine

If you do the above, you'll probably have great content suggestions already. But here's how to go even further with advanced features. 


Prioritize by freshness or relevance

By using the first option on the left of the suggestion panel, you can prioritize freshness and get recent content first. Choose Freshness from the dropdown menu shown below and click the Apply button right above. 


Filter on specific content types

By using the filters on the left of the suggestion panel, you can zoom in on some specific content formats. Check or uncheck the content types you want to filter / leave out and click Apply right above. 


Find new sources automatically

As you start using Scoop.it, the system will learn what sources are more likely to suggest great content for your. You can find theses suggested sources by clicking on "Find More Sources" from the advanced configuration screen:


The Sources showing here can be added in the same way as above by simply clicking Add. And they will be filtered on your keywords exactly like any other manually added source. 

If you don't see any interesting sources here, you can also ask Scoop.it to suggest sources to you by entering keywords for these sources and hitting Search in the screen above. Scoop.it will crawl the web for sources to add and will show them right below:


Using Scoop.it to monitor only specific sources

If you'd like to monitor only specific sources on specific keywords, you can use the above menu to manually add these sources and turn the Scoop.it Smart Suggestion Engine off in the screen above: this will stop Scoop.it from suggesting content found in other sources. You will then only see content suggestions from your manually added sources that match your keywords. For example, if you'd like to curate content from influencers in your industry, you can use this process to add their blogs as sources and turn off the Scoop.it Suggestion Engine: only their content will show up and you'll be able to publish it to your channels. 

Using Filters 

All your sources can be filtered through options available by clicking on the "Configure advanced filters here" link of the Manage Sources screen:


Choose the filter you'd like to apply to your suggestions from this pop-up window:

Click Save: your sources are now optimized to facilitate your curation work.

7. Creating more additional topics to organize your content curation work

Upgrading to a Scoop.it premium plan will allow you to create more topics which is a great way to segment your curation, make it more targeted or experiment with new topic ideas.

Scoop.it Pro will let you create up to 5 topics and you can go beyond that and up to 15 with our other plans. Still not enough? Contact us at business@scoop.it for a custom plan. 

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