Network Based Papers

The use of social media aggregation to publication has been around for some time.  One such example is the Swiss company Small River, whose Paper.Li which takes your daily tweets and creates an online publication from them.

I have used this platform to segment thedigitalconsultant tweets into three distinct publications.  Paper.li also has edition control – daily, weekly or morning & evening.. With the rapid growth in tablets such as the iPAD, this format has many attractions for spreading your content still further.

There are four types of Twitter account based papers a user can create, and one Facebook account based:

1. Account Based Paper – a paper created on your Twitter account
2. Hashtag based Paper – a paper based on a #tag you want to follow
3. User List Paper – a paper based from a twitter user list
4. Create a Custom Newspaper – advanced options for customized Twitter newspapers
5. Facebook based papers – giving you the ability to create a paper based on simple search terms. These papers are created on public posts.

All of the above offer ample opportunities for event marketing and target segmentation.

News today that another social network, LinkedIn is taking this ‘entry to journal’ principal as step further. As it prepares to list publically, the company has upgraded its web site with a new feature, LinkedIn Today.

With more than 90 million professionals using its network it is certainly time to try and broaden the companies public appeal and try and boost user activity.

LinkedIn Today allows the user to tap into articles that are being shared by their connections or by people in their industries.

According to the company’s media release LinkedIn Today informs you of the following:

1. What your connections and coworkers – people you know – are sharing.

2. What your industry peers are sharing

3. What stories are interesting to a wider audience, outside of your industry

Offering users a personalised news stream is seen as a way of encouraging users to spend more time on the site. Only time will tell if this is so.

Being able to see who followed a topic headline provides insight into LinkedIn users who share a link publicly.

This content distribution model also points to the advantage of having your content propagated and shared, as opposed to spending money on online advertising.  Your messaging is not diluted and the reach potential is as great, or greater, for less cost.

So will LinkedIn Today prompt me to use the social network more often?  To be honest, I doubt it. I find Paper.li’s functionality far more engaging with greater editorial control over what I wish to publish or view.

LinkedIn’s niche is professional networking and while job seekers make full use of it, most of them will still get their news from other media sources, Facebook and the more immediate source Twitter.

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About thedigitalconsultant

Roger Smith is an international, digital consultant and former British Council Director of Online Operations within the East Asia region. http://thedigitalconsultant.blogspot.com
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