13 Dec 2010
There’s a new trend on Twitter where people create a “news daily” on a site called paper.li. I’m not a fan of them, but was really curious about what others thought, so asked people’s thought on Twitter this week, and even ran a poll. First, here’s a bit about Paper.li and how it works…
Essentially, paper.li automatically creates a newspaper for you on a daily basis from content that comes through your twitter stream. They either create it based on the links in the Twitter stream of the “curator” (person creating the newspaper) and the people they’re following, from a hashtag, or from a particular list. Then it sends a tweet something like this.
(sorry Joel, I don’t mean to pick on you — it was just a recent example :-))
Now I don’t know exactly what tweet of mine was in that Daily, but normally, it’s really nothing exciting. It says “top stories by @BostonMarketer“, but it’s not a blog post I wrote. Sometimes it’s just a regular article I tweet or something I’ve said. Or, on my @WebinarListings account, it’s one of the many tweets we send out about upcoming webinars. Are these tweets worthy of being in a newspaper? I’d like to think they are, but normally they’re just every-day tweets.
So, really, what value is it adding?
Do the curator’s follower’s get a benefit out of seeing these random tweets in a huge newspaper? I don’t. I see enough of the tweets of people I follow. Maybe it’s more valuable for people just getting started on Twitter? Does anyone actually read these?
Does the person who gets mentioned in the newspaper appreciate seeing his/her name in lights? I don’t. It’s automated, so it’s not like it was manually selected for being a particularly interesting tweet. And, out of the many people in the daily, you weren’t specifically selected to be in the automated tweet. (by the way, you can opt for paper.li to not mention you in the automated tweets).
Maybe it’s more value for the person creating the newspaper? But since it’s automated, and not based on highly retweeted tweets, I’m not sure why it’s any better than just looking through your Twitter stream. And, if that’s the purpose, then what’s the value in sending a tweet with only a couple of people it mentions?
But, maybe this is just me. So, I asked on Twitter, and ran a poll.
A Few Comments From Twitter
(Note that my question was looking for supporters, and I only got 8 supportive comments in total, and many more negatives.)
And, the Poll…
I also created a poll on TwtPoll, and here are the results, and comments:
So out of the 30 people who took the poll, a max of 8 people supported the concept (including the comments). And, that’s being very generous… I allowed people to select multiple answers, and I’ve counted them multiple times.
Given all these responses to my question and the polls, I still don’t understand the value.
Thoughts? Are you a fan of these? What’s the point? It seems like he major benefit is to the people publishing the paper. If that’s so, then why tweet it? Why mention people?
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