(Maybe in a future article I should address excruciating deadlines. Or burnout.) Anyway, here's the article for this month.
August 2012 Cover Story: Twitter and Paper.li:
Last month we talked about Making the Most of Twitter including how to write effective Tweets, the 3 Parts every good Tweet needs, and programs that will schedule your Tweets for you.
Another exciting program I've learned about since then uses your Twitter Tweets to create an online newspaper! Some of you many already know about Paper.li. (http://paper.li/).
I had seen a few Paper.li's, but I didn't know much about them. Then recently author and speaker Linda Evans Shepherd set up a few of these papers and taught me more about them. I so appreciate Linda! I've known her since my very first writer's conference more than twenty years ago. Linda has written more than thirty books and has been a mentor to me for all those twenty years I've known her. Let me tell you what I've learned from Linda about Paper.li in the past couple of months, and I'll use her Paper.li's as examples.
Paper.li is a daily newspaper system that picks up links off of Twitter to create the newspaper. I haven't set one up yet, but it seems you can put in the Twitter handles of the people whose Twitters you want to include. So, for example, Linda set up The AWSA Daily and included the Twitter handles of the members of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. That includes me! ;-)
So now, Paper.li searches the Tweets from AWSA members searching for links, and when it finds them, it compiles them into a newspaper!
Is it legal? Yes. Is it plagiarism? No, because the paper doesn't use your whole article, it only picks up the first few sentences (within fair use) and then links to your article. So people who want to read your article are taken straight to the source.
How to get in: Just a Tweet will not do. You must include a link to an article to get into the Paper.li newspaper. It will pick up photos in the articles you link to also.
Please note that the creator of the Paper.li newspaper has absolutely no control over which Twitter links of yours get picked up. And when they are picked up, they cannot be removed. So don't put a link in your Twitter that you might find embarrassing later and you'll have nothing to worry about. (But, honestly, you shouldn't be doing that anyway, right?)
You don't have to be informed that you're Twitter handle is in some one's Paper.li. I first started seeing Paper.li's a year or so ago when my articles starting showing up in one about Colorado writers. I think maybe someone sent me a link to the Paper.li. Yeah,I was surprised. I had no idea why...or how...I got in that paper. Now I know!
You can subscribe to Paper.li's. They're free. Here's another one of Linda's. Look for the "Subscribe" button in the upper right corner: The Shepherd Post. As a matter of fact, why don't you subscribe for a while so you can see how this works? You can always unsubscribe if you don't want it any more.
You can choose whether you want your Paper.li's to come out daily, twice daily, or weekly. I believe all of Linda's are daily papers.
I can hear that questions you're asking: So how can I use this to benefit my writing? Here are several ideas:
- Getting more exposure for your online blogs and articles in an obvious answer, but there's more.
- You can make your own Paper.li's. Create one for your organization, a topic that is your passion, or the topic you write on. Then your own writings will get featured in your own Paper.li.
- Create a Paper.li that serves people on an issue that is close to your heart. Another one of Linda's Paper.li's is all about suicide prevention: ThinkingAboutSuicide.
- Do you need ideas or resources for your writing? Then subscribe to Paper.li's on topics that interest you and have a daily feed of resources.
Remember, for Paper.li to pick up your articles, you must Tweet it and include a link to your article. Paper.li searches for links, and picks them up at random.
Whether you want exposure for your own writing, need information coming to you to use for your own writing, or see other uses for Paper.li, it is a great resource and it is great fun to see your articles featured in them! Start a Paper.li...and have fun!
NEW TWITTER RESOURCE:
Since my last article I came across another program to help you with your Twittering. I haven't used this one myself yet, so I can't vouch for it, but you can check it out on your own. Manage Flitter identifies Twitter Followers who only Follow you for a short time (perhaps to get your Follow) and then drop you.
I recently read this article and thought you might find it helpful: "Are You a Rookie or Professional [Writer]?"
Follow Me here:
Next month for September:
I have no idea. We'll see.