A recent post on paper.li’s blog has led me to revisit my original review to amend and expand my analysis of this free tool that lets each of us become the “editor in chief” of our own online newspaper aggregated from our Twitter or Facebook feed.
Five Types of Papers
When I first wrote about paper.li, I griped about the lack of granular control in terms of the contributors who I could include, exclude or highlight. But in her post, Kelly at paper.li clarified the five kinds of papers that users can generate—some of which provide a much defter ability to control the list of contributors and/or focus of each publication.
1. Your @Twitter account – composed of links and articles that either you or your followers have shared
2. #tag – tweets across all public timelines filtered by hashtag
Minimal control + you don’t “own” the paper since hashtags are “public domain” in the social sphere
3. @list – based on a public, user-based list you curate
Maximum control over contributors
4. Custom – Mix and match the other paper types or create a custom query
Maximum flexibility over contributors and/or focus
5. Facebook – draws on all public posts
In beta testing
Collecting vs. Reporting
Different types of papers provide varying levels of control. Still, you won’t be able to hand pick your top stories and contributors or comment on individual links.
But if you want that level of influence over what goes into your paper, then you should consider alternatives like Storify. (See mine here)
Paper.li is a dependable tool for aggregating content from Twitter of Facebook. But Storify is a social reporting tool that allows you to comment on every individual tweet, photo, video or link you use to build a story.
Your choice will depend on the level of effort and time you have to invest in the output. With paper.li, you essentially “set it and forget it” so it’s easy to jump in and start a paper. But minimal effort means minimal opportunity to add value to your audience.
But if you’ve done a good job of setting up the paper, then you can build authority over time—daily in fact if that’s how often you want to publish. Then, use more in-depth services like Storify periodically to enrich your followers’ experience.
My final word: paper.li is a formidable player in the field of aggregation that can be used in combination with curation tools like Storify to build credibility through sharing.
Are you ready to start your own paper.li daily?