How to Use Paper.li – The Daily Twitter Newspaper

Posted by Kristi Hines - August 31, 2010 - Social Media - 18 Comments

Paper.li is a service that pulls tweet links and compiles them into newspaper format. The benefit to using these is that it brings relevant content to your users, as well as mentioning 2 – 3 users in each paper. These papers can be a good way to keep up on the latest news on Twitter, all on one page on a daily basis.

To use it, simply sign into your Twitter account, and then sign into Paper.li using the oAuth system. Then create your first newspaper. You can have up to 10 using a mixture of your own user account, Twitter lists, or favorite #hashtags. The user interface to create papers is extremely simple, and the actual paper generation (assuming it is new) usually takes about 1 – 2 minutes.

Creating a Newspaper on Paper.li

Once you have created a paper, you will have the option to promote it. This means that every day, Paper.li will push a tweet out of your account daily for the following paper types.

1. Followers of a Particular User

User Daily Paper.li Tweet

Which leads to The Stephen Fry Daily.

2. People in a Twitter List

Twitter List Daily Paper.li Tweet

Which leads to The Vertical Measures’ Content Marketing Daily.

3. Tweets Using a Specific #Hashtag

Hashtag Daily Paper.li Tweet

Which leads to The #linkbuilding Daily.

Paper Management

You can see all of the papers you have created using the My Paper.li link, and also manage which ones get tweeted on a daily basis. Papers are normally tweeted around noon.

What Types of Content Does Paper.li Pull?

Paper.li selects specific types of tweet to generate content for a paper. First and foremost, it is looking for tweets with links, as the title of each “story” on the paper will link directly to the page, blog post, article, etc.

Paper.li Tweet Links

If there are any images on the page, blog post, article, etc., it will sometimes pull those as a thumbnail for the news story.

It also pulls tweets with links to videos from YouTube, BrightCove, and other popular video sharing sites for the media section. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a link directly to the video, however. Some videos are pulled from blog posts with an embedded video.

Paper.li Video Tweets

How Does Paper.li Organize Content?

Each paper has different sections – a full paper usually consists of the main headlining stories, and ones that have been filed under other categories such as Arts & Entertainment, Health, Education, Business, and related #hashtags.

Paper.li Trending Topics

There is also a real time streaming box that shows the latest updates for the paper’s source, so you can follow it on Twitter as well.

Paper.li Real Time Updates

How Does Paper.li Choose Content?

This one is a mystery to me. I thought it *might* be based on tweet popularity until I saw that some of the tweets added to the paper had been the first tweet for a link done within an hour of the paper’s creation. It could be based on the influence of the Twitter users in the list, but I’ve seen some users with little authority get their tweets listed as well. So essentially,it’s completely random.

Getting the Right Content for Your Audience

This means that getting content on a particular topic based on a user or a Twitter list may not be as easy as you think. Not only may some members of your following or Twitter list not stick to tweeting about one topic, but some members may tweet something that gets misinterpreted by the paper, as seen below.

Paper.li Bad Content

So how do you ensure your papers have the right content for your audience? There really is no guarantee. I would say that out of the three options for paper creation, hashtags seem the way to go, although some tags are overly abused, such as #linkbuilding gets repeated by the same users over and over and sometimes for services, not useful content. So use Paper.li at your own risk!

Top Paper.li Papers for Online Marketing

The following are some good papers to get you started, and see good (and bad) content that comes through.

Your Paper.li Experience

Do you use Paper.li in your tweets? What has been your experience in terms of getting relevant content to your followers? What are your favorite papers?

About the Author

Kristi Hines

Kristi is a freelance writer, online marketing consultant, blogger, and social media enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter.