Guest Post by Virginia DeBolt from Web Teacher |
Twitter’s been capable of making lists for a while now. They are handy for certain things like tracking a particular topic or set of people you follow. A new site called Paper.li has come up with a terrific way to use Twitter lists.
Paper.li takes the tweeps on a Twitter list and uses what they post in a 24 hour period to create a daily newspaper. At paper.li, you don’t have to restrict yourself to Twitter lists, you can also make a daily newspaper from a single username or from a Twitter hashtag.
Check out an example
Recently I decided to accumulate the names of women involved in teaching web education classes like web design, web development, HTML, PHP and other similar classes. I made a Twitter list for all the women I could find — not many so far. (If you don’t know how to make a Twitter list, I’ll explain it in a bit.) Finding the names of women in web education has taken some time, but making the list was a snap. Then I went to Paper.li and created the daily paper in just a few seconds. Here’s the result: Women in Web Education Daily. Pretty cool, no? It lists articles, tweets, videos, tags, and everything else that the women on my Twitter list mentioned in a 24 hour period.
Instead of watching Twitter all day long so as not to miss anything, I can take a once-a-day look at my daily newspaper and see what this group of people have been talking about. That’s the best use ever for a Twitter list.
How to Make a Daily Paper
To make a daily paper of your own, go to Paper.li and create an account. When you’re signed in, you’ll see a link that says “create a newspaper.”
When the new page opens, choose whether you want to create a paper using a user, a #tag or an @list.
For this example, I’ll make one using a hashtag. (I’ve already made the one I need from a list.) I want to keep an eye on the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing event for 2010. The hashtag for that is #ghc10.
Click Create and Pow! Just like that, you’ve got a daily paper made from tweets that include the hashtag #ghc10.
There’s an “alert me” link at the top of the paper. Provide your email to receive a notice each time the daily paper updates. If you click the “Promote” link, each update to the paper will be tweeted automatically.
How to Make a Twitter List
Sign in to Twitter and go to your profile page or your home page. You can create a list from either page. On your profile page, you’ll see an icon like this:
Click to see the pull-down menu and select New List. On the Home page, you’ll see a “New List” link in the sidebar. Click that link.
A new screen opens. Fill it in and click “Create List.”
The final step is to put people you follow on your list. Click the link in the sidebar that opens up your list of followers. Beside each name, there’s a list icon. Click to open the drop down menu. You can select one or more of your lists to add a person.
Would a daily newspaper created fresh daily by the people you follow on Twitter simplify your life? Go ahead. Make one. It’s easy and it’s free.
Virginia DeBolt blogs at Web Teacher about web design education, web standards, accessibility, and general technology topics.