I was going to write this Paper.li tutorial for quite a while. A few weeks ago I was asked by one of my followers how to get Paper.li to work. As often happens, I’ve had many other things on my plate. Funnily enough, my tutorial couldn’t be more timely, it seems. As this post from the Paper.li blog announces, the Swiss content curation service has reached a major milestone a few short days ago: 1 billion published articles!
So what is Paper.li all about?
Paper.li is a content curation service. It enables people to publish newspapers based on topics they like and treat their readers to fresh news, daily.
The Paper.li team believe that people (and not machines) are the ones qualified to curate the content that matters most. They also think that these same people can greatly help their own communities to find their way through this “massive content world” we live in. (source: Paper.li).
In simple words – Paper.li is a cool service which enables you to publish your own newspaper in less than 5 minutes. Now why should you even care?
Well, here’s why I’m using this service:
Paper.li enables me to curate content from my own Twitter stream and from the people I follow on Twitter. It does it automagically. Once a day my Paper.li
is updated and a tweet goes out, mentioning the 5 top contributors. I can’t tell you how many thank you messages I got from Twitter friends for mentioning them in my paper. This is a great starting point for a conversation and for a new relationship. Now these people will often retweet these messages and the paper edition, so that your paper quickly spreads around the social web. So, in other words, I’m using Paper.li as a relationship building tool.
There are other reasons to use the customized paper: I’m sure it has SEO value, especially if you choose a targeted keyword as your newspaper’s name. The paper can be updated daily or even twice a day, which is likely to attract search engine spiders over time. So if the content there links back to your website(s) this can add you some link juice.
A newspaper format is also an easier way to consume large amounts of information, so instead of going through hundreds of Twitter streams which are updated every 2 seconds, you can the actual news sources in one nicely arranged paper edition. So that’s pretty nifty.
If there are other reasons you can think of, comment away! I’d love to hear!
OK, I hear you. Let’s cut the waffle. After all, you’re eager to get your paper printed, aren’t you?
1.Log-in and start a paper
Log-in to Paper.li, or Start a paper right away…
2.Grab a coffee/herbal tea…
Seriously, it takes a time to create a newspaper! You need to read through all the news, get all the reporters together, do the graphics, roll out the printers… So 5 minutes is even too little I’d say! Now go make yourself a drink…
3.Customize your paper
Choose a name for your new publication. If you really love yourself, choose your real name. If not, choose a relevant name. for example: The Typography Lover Daily. If you know of an SEO keyword you like then that could work as well. Or simply choose a sexy, memorable name, e.g The Honest IM Daily Now choose your language, and choose the content streams which would shape your paper. You can mix & match up to 5 streams, from Twitter, Facebook and your RSS feed. The simplest and probably safest option is the first one: Me & the people I follow.
4.Admire your new baby
Now look at that! Isn’t it beautiful? And your coffee is still hot!
After you’ve scrolled through your newly-born
baby paper, admiring every pixel, you can do some editing. And if you see a really awesome article, why not reply the contributor with a thank you message? That’s how relationships are born!
5.Tweak your paper
Now just so you know: You can always tweak your paper, add a background image, change the update frequency and time and more. Choose an update time which suites your audience. Try to hit the traffic peaks, depending on where most of your followers are (everywhere?). I set it for around midnight GMT but you can test what works best for you.
And now the mic goes to you!
Are you using Paper.li?
What kind of papers have you created?
If not, why not?
If this post has been of value to you, why not share the love by tweeting it, sharing it on Facebook and Delicious, digging it or stumbling it? Thanks…
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