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Is Paper.li and LinkedIn Today the Answer to Personalised News Content?

9 June 2011

Have you ever wanted your own personalised newsletter? Well some social networks allow you to produce such a thing and tailor content around your connections and the subjects that you are interested in. Twitter and now LinkedIn are providing an aggregation of the content you are interested in, delivered straight to your desktop.

Paper.li is an application which utilise Twitter to take content from your Twitter followers (online connections) and organises your content into a personalised online newspaper which not only you, but other people can look at.

The application is very simple to set up and use. You connect with your Twitter account, choose a keyword or Twitter list as the basis of your new newspaper and Paper.li will generate a summary of the most popular and relevant links based on your keyword or friend list, and it will be updated every day, week or month, depending on your preference.

The problem I find with Paper.li is that it has become a victim of its own success. So many of these newsletters are circulating on Twitter that they cease to be unique and become what I call ‘Twitter Spam’. Whenever I see a ‘So and So Daily’ my first reaction now is to avoid clicking on the link and I guess I am not the only person to feel this way. Another problem I find is that a lot of the information is random or even general which you has probably popped up on established Blogs so it is not ‘New’ News any more.

LinkedIn is now producing a similar sort of thing called LinkedIn Today. LinkedIn Today amalgamates news stories shared in a particular sector of your choice as well as LinkedIn contacts thus making it personal to you. As you would expect from LinkedIn, it look incredibly professional and well laid out. It is another social network taking up the mantle for providing personalized news content for its users.

Paper.li and LinkedIn Today are great products for personal consumption, but they are not designed for publication as they are still a bit too general in their delivery of content. If they could fine tune their content algorithms, I think they will have something worth reading.

Personalised news services are the future. It will be interesting to see how they develop and whether they get close to truly personalised new content.

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Ian Lockyer
www.easimarketing.com

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