twitter-logo-100x100Paper.li is the latest third-party Twitter app but with a difference: it produces a digital newspaper of the stream of tweets when you provide it with a hashtag (category) or a username.

So you’re thinking, why would I want a newspaper that tells me what someone ate for lunch or dinner that day. Well if you think that, then you don’t know how important Twitter has become as a news-breaker. Several media companies are now using Twitter-only editions to present the news.

Okay, so exactly what does Paper.li do then? It allows you to create a newspaper based on the content of the links in a stream of tweets. The tweet stream can be from a hashtag (e.g., #facebook) or a specific Twitter user and their followers (e.g., @talespinner), and the tweets without links are filtered out. The content from the web pages represented by the list of aggregated links is what makes up the resulting “newspaper”.

snap-my-paperli

I tried Paper.li on my own Twitter profile (see above) and while the result is entertaining, for an old-school print lover like myself, I can’t see using this from a web browser. It’s too awkward to read story snippets. Clicking on a link takes you to a new browser tab. Then you have to go back and do the same thing again for the next story. What’s more, with my account following nearly 2300 people, there’s no chance I’m going to ever catch every bit of content that people share. What would be nice is more powerful keyword filtering options, or maybe even sentiment-based filtering. It’s features like that, which other Twitter-based tools are already offering, that will make Paper.li more usable for power tweeters.

As well, if Paper.li were mashed up with an Apple iPad application, there’d be more potential as a digital newspaper. The iPad screen is large enough that a page of content could be presented as a partial overlay screen over the digital newspaper’s main screen. As soon as you’re finished reading one story, you close the overlay window and see your paper as it was. No jarring effect of being taken back to the previous Web page and waiting for it to redraw in your Web browser. It’d be a far more enjoyable reading experience than on a regular desktop/ laptop computer browser window. Just don’t take your iPad to bed for reading.

Via The Social Media Guide.

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