StayOnSearch

How to Use Paper.li – The Daily Twitter Newspaper

Kristi Hines August 31, 2010

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?

18 comments
Ron
Ron

I have set up 3 papers which are published weekly on (Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday mornings, using hashtags and on related topics, but with different hashtags so the content is different for each. I take select articles from the Friday paper and tweet them directly during the week, but am considering making the Friday paper daily since it provides valuable stories. Do you recommend doing so? All three papers are receiving about 15 views per day. Is this high or low? Finally, is it possible to use Google Analytics to track the users of my papers? I don't think its possible to embed the regular HTML Google Analytics tracking code on my papers' home page, so if it is possible, how would one set it up? Thanks and enjoyed the blog.

azeeez
azeeez

good job christi, can u review my blog for me at www.iaaaz.com, really want to improve on it

Josh Ray
Josh Ray

Do the links from paper.li carry any link juice? I have been included in a few about sports teams I follow but most of the links I post are about blogging. The paper doesn't seem to care that my tweets aren't related to the team. If paper.li links do carry link juice than this could be a great way to get lots of free links. I checked the site out and it is dofollow but I'm not an expert so I'd love some advice. Thanks.

Doug Woods
Doug Woods

Thanks Kristi, this is a very interesting post. I wrote about my own experiences with Paper.Li just recently and came to the conclusion that while it may look good and is still in its early days of development, it needs to add some important features to become fully successful. You can read my blog post of Paper.li at http://dougwoods.co.uk/blog/paper-li/ Briefly the features I would like to see would include, the ability to archive past editions, be able to specify when and how frequently editions are published and have some prior say in the content.

David Tebbutt
David Tebbutt

Andy: It doesn't have to be a gimmick. For a start it's handy for anyone who's overloaded with tweets but doesn't want to miss important stuff. It can be their own little secret. The 'gimmick' bit probably comes in when you decide to tell the world your daily whatever has just been published. But then, if people trust you to choose followers, lists or hashtags carefully, then you can be doing them a favour too, by introducing them to stuff that you're likely to like. At the moment, I favour lists because you can exercise maximum control over who's likely to be included. With 'followees', they're all chucked in and, apart from some kind of connection with you, they probably don't have a lot in common. Hashtags probably work when they're specialised and unlikely to attract abuse. Hope this helps. I'm a relative newcomer to paper.li but that's what I think at the moment.

Andy @ FirstFound
Andy @ FirstFound

Ahh, so that explains all the "Daily @user" tweets I've been seeing. I'll have to have a deeper look, but this does just seem like a gimmick.

Ileane@Basic Blog Ti
Ileane@Basic Blog Ti

Hey Kristie, I've been using Paper.li for more than a couple of weeks and I see some good and also some drawbacks. When you first create your Daily - no matter what time of day - it will be updated in 24 hours. I found that out the hard way because the first one I created in the evening but I think it's best to do it early in the morning based on my time zone (eastern standard time). Influential user's tweets are more likely to appear as well as those of people that you interact with frequently. I created my dailies based on my own Twitter lists so if I see some users mentioned more often I will remove them from the list - just to give some other good tweeters a chance for exposure. Overall I think Paper.li could give us more control over what appears in your daily but at least we can control who is on our Twitter lists. I don't include users that twitterfeed news blogs (like Mashable). I think you already know that is one of my pet peeves.:) I found another service yesterday that is also appealing called Twittertim.es I'll test that one for a few days and let you know how it compares but so far so good.

Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines

Thanks for the insight. I wondered about the timing thing, because I created three papers for my company's Twitter, and I made sure to space them out over a couple of hours, but they still all get tweeted around noon everyday. I'll definitely check out the other one you sent too... never heard of it before. :)

Gail
Gail

The one drawback to the Daily Twitter newspapers is the Avatar's it uses on featured Tweets. The Avatar is for the person Tweeting the item rarely than the creator of what is being linked. It would be much better if they could find a way to have the appropriate person get the credit for the content.

Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines

That would be nice if they could tune in on any Twitter usernames if there is a by @someone and include both the person that tweeted and the person the article was actually from. Good point!

Sarah Arrow
Sarah Arrow

I love paper.li it's a great way of seeing what people are sharing and it's done in a visual format. I have three and I get a steady stream of traffic from them. The traffic part surprised me, for some reason I wasn't expecting much. I have also gained new subscribers to the blog as well. It's a great resource and I thoroughly recommend subscribing to them and sharing them.

Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines

I didn't even thing to check my analytics, but I have been getting a good bit from them as well. I really wasn't expecting any either. Great tip! :)

Thomas
Thomas

Still too early to really tell, but from what I have observed the equation is based on what get's RT, twitter authority, and (if it's a user's list) who they interact with, which is also @mentions thrown in your direction. Lee's could have been one of those mentions. You can see which tweet is attributed to the section by mousing over the individual's name. The mouse over also gives you the ability to reply, retweet, follow, unfollow, unfollow, and/or favourite. Pretty handy tool. In fact, I have probably given out a few more RT's simply because the paper makes it easy to do so, and some of the articles I visit or read don't. ...comes with the pest control scene and exterminators not knowing that they should add tweetme to their posts. =) Paper.li also makes it easy to promote daily papers... but this could be abused or used in excess which may turn off some users. Frankly it gives away mentions to those you follow, and I like to share and communicate with my twitter buddies so it's been a positive impact with those that get featured in the paper as well. Lastly, seeing what little influence I truly have compared to other social media guys because I don't get featured in other dailies gives me a little more encouragement to do better by submitting more articles and sharing more good info.

Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines

I still don't know how influential you have to be to get included in one of these... I have a "test" account that I use that has few followers or influence, but it got included in a paper based on a hashtag used in the tweet. I guess it depends on the type of paper as to how much influence and interaction have an affect on getting included. Thanks for your insightful comment! :)

Thos003
Thos003

I actually believe it looks at relevancy within the tweets as well. But mostly it looks for links to articles and/or images. And the authority of the user tweeting the article. Not sure but authority I believe is calculated on a ratio of follows to followers. If there are no outbound links in the feed then there is no news. In fact it gives you the following message: "No links have been shared by the twitter user and the followed people ...so no newspaper today. Come back tomorrow!"

Gera
Gera

Very interesting article Kirsti. I've been seeing these newspaper-tweets everywhere lately which are nice for the eyes and for networking. As networking tool via twitter is good, but I don't have clear other uses for them. You can get a similar effect with feedly in your RSS readers as a information-managing tool. Have a great week! Gera

Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines

Feedly? I'll have to check that out. Sometimes I find they are a good compilation (especially the #hashtag based ones) from people I don't know or have in my reader already. It gives me a new resource to check out. Hope you have a good week too! :)

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!