What is Paper.li? A Newspaper of Tweets?

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It was a couple of months ago when I first starting noticing some of my favorite tweeps (Twitter people) publishing their own “newspapers.” It was a couple of weeks ago when I decided to head over to paper.li to start publishing my own paper.

Paper.li is a free service that takes links from the people you follow on Twitter and organizes those links into a virtual paper for easy reading.

Creating a newspaper is easy: you log into paper.li with your Twitter account and then have four ways of creating a newspaper:

Once you choose a source your paper will be created, and updated daily. There’s a home page, and sections for Travel, Business, Technology and popular hashtags. The newspaper also includes shared videos, tweets, and, of course, advertisements. (No, you don’t get a share of the profits. However, I can imagine that in the near future we’ll see competitors who are willing to share ad revenue to increase participation.)

You can also choose to have paper.li promote your newspaper when it comes hot off the presses through your Twitter account. This is a good way to share some of the highlights from your feed, as well as promoting some of the people you follow (a new twist on #followfriday.)

This is also a good way of getting the attention of people you follow who may not follow you back, or just don’t have as much interaction with you as possible. I’ve noticed that quite a few people have retweeted my paper.li tweets when they see their name there.

This too will run its course, just like #followfriday did before it. However, for now, paper.li is easy to set up, fun to use, and can be a visually engaging way of seeing what your tweeps are sharing.

Feel free to check out some of my newspapers:

Rich Brooks
See You In The Funny Pages

  • http://phylliskhare.com Phyllis Khare

    I really like paper.li. I have enjoyed many new conversations with people on my womenmarketers Twitter list because of it. It makes you think – a little more seriously – about who you put on a List and how you could use it. I like the interface and how the whole things works. I DO know that some people do NOT like it especially if they are on a bunch of Twitter List and now they get tons of @ replies of paper.li’s with their name on it! Bu the more you tweet – the more you are going to show up on a paper.li.

  • Hari Blue

    Hi

    I also recently discovered the service and think it has some value, though limited. However, some people seem to get their paper with their usernames like yours, while others have a random number added to their usernames. Example, paper.li/username/1204328910.

    Do you know why?

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Wait, people are upset because other people find their content worthwhile! (I wish I always suffered such a fate.) I did see that paper.li offers the offendee the opportunity of opting out of any featured lists in Twitter feeds, so I guess a few people may have complained about that. You can do it at http://paper.li/stop-mentions.html

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Hari, I haven’t seen that. It’s possible that it’s a tracking ID, or some sort of URL shortener, but I’m just not sure.

  • Hari Blue

    Thanks for the quick response. I am pretty sure its not a URL shortener, since the number appears after the username. Here’s an example from the Business section – http://paper.li/AlejandroNews/1289609659. Other papers in the same section do not have this number.

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    That’s a head scratcher for sure. Not sure what to make of it, assuming he didn’t create the paper w/that random number in it.

  • Wholesale Suppliers

    I have just found this marvelous feature of tweeter and facebook. This is very striking concept and I hope it will helps to increase the users and traffic also. Through this feature users will be update regarding their concern news.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenniferjamesbeauty Jennifer James

    Hello!

    I have been attempting to do research on Paper.Li & cannot find an answer. Why does Paper.Li pull outdated content? Seems for every tweet of mine published in someones Paper.Li – it’s the same out-dated content.

    Any idea if there is anything I can do to make sure Paper.Li pull current content from my Twitter feed?

    Help with this would be greatly appreciated.

    Great post by the way.

  • http://profiles.google.com/eldercaresupport Shelley Webb

    Hi, Rich,

    So it’s been 9 months since you’ve published this article – just curious if you’re opinion has changed and if so, why?  This seems like it would be a good tool to send out weekly to my “list” which I am very protective of when it comes to possible spam.  Has there been any talk of making such a service possible?

    Thanks,

    Shelley Webb
    IntentionalCaregiver.com
    http://twitter.com/ShelleyWebbRN

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Shelley,

    If you mean my opinion of “it will run its course” then no, it hasn’t changed. However, I don’t think it’s quite run its course yet. In fact, this being Friday, I see that people are still doing #ff…and doing it poorly.

    Paper.li remains a good way to show people that you’re following them, even if it doesn’t prove your listening.

    Not sure that I would email this to an email subscriber list, however, as much of it is randomly generated and may be off target for your audience.

  • Sarah T.

    Is paper.li completely automatically generated? Can you mark certain stories as “front page” stories or edit it before publication? And can you add other content manually, e.g. links from Facebook or articles you’ve spotted, want to share, but haven’t found through Twitter?

    These would all be things I’d want to do if I was going to use paper.li. If I couldn’t, I suppose I could create an additional Twitter account to tweet all the links I want included, and follow that account myself.

    Are there any other ways of creating a personal newspaper which you would also recommend? I’m hoping you’ve got more idea of what’s available than I have…

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Sarah, yes, automatically generated. As far as I know, you have no control over what gets published or where w/in your paper. Best you can do is create a very targeted twitter list for paper.li.

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