My Favorite Tools: Paper.Li

Copyright 2010 JAGWIRE Group and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Jottings by a tech PR consultant on a tireless quest for the next best tool, application, widget or Website to help “balance” life between the cyber and real worlds.

I published an online newsletter today in under a minute. All it took was one stroke of a button and voila I had nine pages beautifully formatted with compelling content neatly filed under nine tabs: headlines, technology, business, stories, arts & entertainment, education, environment, public relations and mobile. You think I’m kidding don’t you?

I’m not! You can do it too if you use Twitter. 

Paper.Li is an application that organizes what it deems the “relevant” Tweets and associated links from the people you follow on Twitter into a newspaper layout. I follow 181 people that are mostly writing about technology, public relations and social media so my instant newsletter reflects those interests, but lo and behold it parsed my Twitter feeds into areas that I wouldn’t normally create categories for: arts & entertainment, education and environment.  This gives me a new perspective on the information that I am consuming through Twitter.  News content can be created for any Twitter user, list or #tag, according to Paper.Li. You can select the frequency whether daily, morning or evening or weekly. The funny thing is that I see a lot of content in this newsletter that I missed during my scans of Twitter throughout the day.

Paper.li states on its Website that it applies semantic analysis (to determine topic) on English, German, French and Spanish language articles. I must check into this further because one of my clients is heavily into the use of semantics for filtering relevant emails.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Here is today’s handiwork. You can click on this image and it will take you to the actual newsletter. You’ve got to see it.

JAGWIRE News via PaperLi

Now the biggest beef that I have with this newsletter technique is that I have virtually no control of the content. I can pick and choose the people whose content I want to curate, but I can’t pick and choose the content they’ve tweeted that might make it into my newsletter, and which I might think is inappropriate. Also, as an old school journalist something seems wrong about publishing other people’s content without asking. That’s why I think I will just use this to compile a daily digest to scan the hundreds of Tweets that come in daily. I won’t entirely trust Paper.Li to pick the most relevant Tweets for me. I’ll still dart in and out of my Twitter feed during the day, but this way, I will probably find things that I might have missed otherwise.

By the way, the people you follow do have some control and can opt out of being mentioned in any of these Twitter newsletters by going here. I won’t be opting out myself because I will be flattered if any of my content shows up in your newsletter.

If you would like more detail, you can read these recent blogs:

PaperLi was created by a Swiss-based start-up called SmallRivers, which is located on the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL campus.

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