Instant Information: Paper.li Creates Instant Newspapers

Posted on November 9, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Yesterday someone tweeted a link to his own newspaper.   I followed it. The idea of creating my own newspaper, with stories that were selected just for me, was intriguing. It sounded like a news aggregator, those applications we all rushed to install once we realized that we could not keep track of all of our friends blogs without some help.  But I was blown away by what I found. Paper.li may just be changing the paradigm for how information is delivered. I was able to instantly create the Keri Pearlson Daily.

Here’s how it works: from the paper.li website, you select from one of three streams: A Twitter @list, A Twitter #hashtag or a Twitter user.  I picked this third option.

This site went to my Twitter account and grabbed all the links shared in the past 24 hours by my account and the people I follow.  It then created a personal newspaper that looks much more inviting to read than a ‘traditional’ Twitter stream. This version of my Twitter Stream was complete with headlines, links, archiving calendar and ads (Groupon in my case). The paper title, “The Keri Pearlson Daily,” itself is inviting.

Paper.li has taken a rough flow of information and massaged it into the familiar, comfortable format of a daily newspaper.  The fact that it’s instant makes it fun, too. I want to know what articles will appear in my newspaper.  This format is also a very inviting way to consume information. My Daily may not be complete. Certainly it only has access to information in my Twitter stream in the past 24 hours. Tomorrow, when I ask it to create another version of the Keri Pearlson Daily, the contents will differ, just like the daily newspaper that still arrives on my driveway every day, the Austin American Statesman. Again, this is familiar–I expect the stories to change every day in my daily paper.

My imagination is working overtime with the possibilities for instant information.  Imagine if you used this type of thing on an activity stream like Facebook or an enterprise version like Socialcast.   You could see what’s important, or popular, or trending in your circle of friends or in your enterprise.  Paper.li is really on to something here. They clearly understand how to make a user-experience both delightful and compelling.

So glad I read the Bryan Person Daily yesterday.  It is a brilliant example of instant information.

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