Paper.li describes itself as a “content curation service.” That means you decide what content to include in your online paper, based on the content streams you think will be most relevant and beneficial to your audience.
For example, you can add content to your online newspaper based on links and articles posted to Twitter from everyone in a specific Twitter List, or you include content from Twitter based on hashtags that are pertinent to your followers.
Starting your own Paper.li is very easy. Navigate to paper.li and click on the bright yellow button entitled “Start your paper.” You’ll be asked to sign in using either your Facebook or Twitter account. Although you can add Facebook, or any web content to Paper.li, log in using Twitter to create a paper based on Twitter-centric content.
Next, you’ll be given the option of choosing up to 10 different content streams for your paper, such as a Twitter account that you specify, your followers, Twitter Lists, keywords found in tweets, and more. You can even add filters to the content streams you choose, so that you can fine-tune the content that gets published from these streams. You can also choose up to 18 different topics; the content gleaned from your sources will appear under the appropriate headings.
Give your paper a title (choose a catchy title as this will likely affect how many people will click on your link), then click the blue “Publish” button at the bottom of the screen. Paper.li will then process all your sources, topics and filters and generate an online newspaper that you can share with the world.
Click on your account icon in the top right corner of the page and choose “Paper settings” to modify parameters like the time of day and frequency that your paper will be published, the appearance of your paper, content sources, and more. Alternatively, select “Account settings” to change your account picture, and add a profile that gets published with your paper.
Why Use Paper.li?
When your paper is generated, you can Like it or Send it to a friend or a Group on Facebook, +1 it on Google+ and Share it on LinkedIn thus exposing your Twitter based content to a number of different platforms. Because the content is displayed in a online newspaper format, it is not likely to “alienate” audiences who might not be familiar with tweets, or hashtags or other Twitter specific formatting. In other words, it’s a great way to display Twitter content to non-Twitter users.
Of course, for your followers on Twitter, a Paper.li newspaper is a great way to establish or rekindle relationships and conversations. Paper.li tweets on your behalf when a new edition is published. The tweet includes a link to the paper, plus three Twitter account names that appear as content sources in that edition. This means that every time you publish an edition, at least three people will receive an @reply, mentioning them specifically in your tweet stream.
Often this will spark impromptu conversations when people reply to your Paper.li updates with tweets like “Thanks for mentioning me in your paper today” or “Great article on Pinterest!” This gives you the perfect opportunity to reply and engage (or re-engage) those people with whom you may not have been in contact for a while.
Finally, Paper.li links are far more likely to be clicked than other traditional links that you post on Twitter. In fact, according to research from “The Social Media Scientist”, Dan Zarrella, links that include the words “daily is out” (the default copy that accompanies all Paper.li links) get clicked 17 times more than links without that phrase!
So, when will your Paper.li Daily be out?
[Source and Image Credit: Dan Zarrella]