With the ever increasing amount of online information from social networks, the need for organizing it has never been greater. Look around and there’s no shortage of aggregation tools to help us filter out the important stuff. Services like Summify, Scoop.it, and News.me offer ways to identify, organize and share the most relevant content online. Another such tool is Paper.li, which scans the posts of your Twitter followers and automatically publishes the news from your network on a single webpage. Personally, I like the easy-to-read format since it resembles a newspaper with photos, bylines, etc. I use it to review content on a daily basis since it’s a lot more enjoyable than reviewing linear feeds in Hootsuite.
Recently, I came across a discussion thread on LinkedIn that slammed Paper.li claiming that the automated curation tool was nothing but an annoyance. The biggest complaint from folks was that it created “comment spam” on Twitter with its daily promos alerting followers that a new edition had been published. People are up in arms that those little promos only name the Twitter followers who retweeted the story and don’t credit authors of the stories themselves. Guys, sorry to break it to you but Paper.li is ahead of the curve on this one.
In this world of information overload, there’s now a new layer in the media ecosystem: the curator. If it wasn’t for that person who retweeted the story in the first place, you probably wouldn’t have seen it. So naming the retweeters in daily promos is the right course of action. Twitter is like a fire hose and Paper.li is selecting random tweets that would have otherwise been missed. Yes, they’re randomly chosen but I find a lot of value in them because they praise others for their contributions. It reminds me that they’re part of my network and I can appreciate their contributions that much more. I know when I’m named in someone’s newspaper it motivates me to continue sharing that type of content.
While I don’t believe that Paper.li is the perfect tool, it does provide a valuable service. The market for content curation is still in its infancy. New products are being launched every month thus giving the role of the content curator an even larger role in the online media world.