Five Positives and Negatives of Creating a Paper.li Daily

If you use twitter and haven’t been hiding under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ve probably seen a tweet from one or other person you’re following that says something along the lines of: “The xxxx Daily is Out! Click here to read it…”

So what’s that all about?

Paper.li is an amazing website which creates a daily digest of twitter (or facebook) posts customized just for you.

Its tagline is: Read Twitter and Facebook as a daily newspaper.

I can’t speak about the Facebook integration because as yet it seems ratherΒ primitiveΒ so I haven’t used it but there are three ways you can create a ‘newspaper’ based on twitter:

1) Have it search through everything the people you follow tweet in the day and make a paper based on what they’re talking about

2) have it search a twitter hashtag and create a paper based on what people using that hashtag are saying

3) create a list of twitter users and have it create a paper about their daily tweets.

Here’s how it works:

You select one of the three options and then select a publishing frequency. They’re called ‘daily’ papers but you can have them generate either daily, morning and evening or weekly.

When your paper is generated, the Paper.li system looks through all the tweets in the set you gave it and pulls out all of the links in those tweets.

It then categorizes them as articles, pictures or video’s and then again categorizes the articles into headings such as education, stories, arts, technology etc etc.

Somehow it selects which of those articles to use for that day and generates a paper with all the different categories and a selection of articles from each.

There are both positives and negatives to the system and here are the top five of each that I have found so far (in no particular order):

Positives

  1. It delivers a daily digest of links tweeted by your friends giving you a very easy to read way of scanning through them all and reading the ones you wish to read
  2. It is VERY well laid out, completely revolutionizing the sharing of links online
  3. You can limit its scope quite considerably and generate a helpful page of links to exactly what you are interested in
  4. It’s like twitter on acid. Forget 140 characters, it includes some images and thumbnails and an excerpt from each article
  5. It comes out up to twice a day and pulls together lots of links you may have missed. You can virtually ignore your twitter feed and just sit down once or twice a day and have everything compiled and delivered to you all together. In fact, they should consider doing a paper version of this that you could have delivered right to your front door…

Negatives

  1. Although you can limit the users it looks at for tweets, you cannot limit the content from those users. It has little or no discernment about what is acceptable and what is not
  2. You cannot lay out the page to your own liking
  3. It picks who the ‘top’ stories are by… which is somewhat arbitrary.
  4. You cannot remove anything from it
  5. It gives the avatar and a link to the person who SHARED each story it includes. The person who shared the story might not be the person who WROTE the story so sometimes that can be a little misleading and confusing.

Yesterday, I experienced the bad side of Paper.li where one of my ‘friends’ had posted a rather graphic picture which many people would find offensive and it posted that picture right there in the middle of the screen…. and there’s nothing I can do about it!

All in all, I think that paper.li is revolutionizing the way we read, share and navigate online and I think it will go from strength to strength. It’s only in its infancy and hopefully many of the negatives I’ve listed here will soon disappear but in the mean time, it has its problems but it’s well worth taking a look at.

Creating your own ‘paper’ is free. Give it a whirl today: www.paper.li

My two papers are The Peter Pollock Daily and The #owaat Daily