Paper.li Debate: Awesome But Proceed With Caution!

Last week in my That’s a Wrap article, I posted Paper.li as a useful application for the online business owner.

Let me just say I DO LOVE this application. This is by far one the best ones I’ve seen in a while that I’ve found to be very useful in the world of social networking and I’ll explain why in a bit.

Let me give you a brief overview of this application.

Paper.li is a privately owned company co-founded by Edouard Lambelet and Iskander Pols.  However, it is powered by Twitter.  It’s an ingenious piece of software that promises to continue to develop and add new features.  There’s no sign up involved.  All you have to do is allow it to pass access tokens from Twitter by signing into your account using your Twitter username and password.  Cool!

The premise behind this tool is that it allows you to organize your Twitter stream into an easy newspaper format by taking the links and the content in your Twitter stream and applying them to different categories of your digital newspaper.

For example, tweets with links and content pertaining to ‘Technology’ will go into that category.  As well, links pertaining to ‘Media’ and ‘Politics’ will be placed in their prospective categories.

How can you use this application to your advantage?

You can use it for your own personal enjoyment and ease of keeping up to date with a particular list or topic.  Or you can choose to create a paper and share it with your Twitter followers.  Another option would be to add it to your website and share it with your visitors.

You can create a paper based on a list, hashtag (#), or user.  So if you’ve created a Twitter list, you can now add that list to Paper.li and read all about your Tweet folk in a newspaper format.

Choose a Format

Although the paper is not in “real” time as visiting your Twitter account, it definitely comes close!

This is why I think this software is awesome!

  1. You can sit back, relax and read information pertaining to any area of interest you wish!
  2. You want to read about blogging?  Create a paper using hashtag #blogging.
  3. Want to keep up to date with the top people you follow? Create a Twitter list and create the custom paper.
  4. Are you selling retail products?  Create a custom paper relevant to your industry with users discussing industry news and share it with your followers.  Heck, you can even add it on your site!

This is where I think you should proceed with caution!

After my initial out-of-control excitement about this application and my rush to get my first daily out to my Twitter follows, I sat down to really think about the impact of this on me and my business.

I began to wonder if promoting my newspaper would do more harm than good. By promoting your Daily, are you possibly drawing attention away from you and onto others?

I know some of you think, well you have lists which other’s can follow.  You retweet links all the time for other’s in your industry?

What’s the big deal about promoting your paper?

The difference is that with the former options you have a choice as to how you want to share your friend’s content and when to share it.  As oppose to using the automated ‘promote’ button with paper.li, you are not given that choice.  The top stories are selected and tweeted for you automatically.

Paper.li Debate: Awesome But Proceed With Caution!

You do have the option to tweet out the daily on your own as well as edit the tweet itself.  But the end result is the same.  The person following your tweet link will end up on the same page.

Here is where it gets a bit tricky.

If your page consists of others within your same industry, you are potentially drawing the readers away from your content and onto other site owners.

Now, I’m all about giving props to my “Twitter friends”.  I’m the props Queens for goodness sakes … or at the very least a Princess.  I fully believe in the Art of Reciprocity (more about that later).  And maybe I’m old-school, but I want to do it my way; read an article I enjoy and think my followers will too and tweet that bad boy out!

I’m not sure the need promote who I follow regularly on a daily basis within my industry is necessary or smart business.  Unless you are a top leader in your industry where you are the destination and not the possible drive-by, you may want to be very strategic if you do choose to promote your paper.

You may want to consider creating a paper consisting of Twitter users tweeting out information relevant to your industry but not in direct competition with you.

One last thought:

I do want to state that I’m torn between to promote or not to promote.  Promoting other peoples content even within your industry is a great way to support other.  One of the biggest lessons I’ve learn as a blogger is that it takes a community to push you forward and create success in your business.  I’ve met some amazing people on this journey, both, people not within my industry and those who I would consider “competitors”.

And I must admit I get this warm fuzzy feeling when I see I’ve been included in someone’s daily. I’m even inclined to support you even more because of it. But what if I weren’t your ally but rather your prospective lead?

  • To what limit does this co-support reach? Is there a limit?
  • If I were to take reciprocity out of the equation, would it be good business sense to do so?
Let’s put it this way. If you were selling shoes, would you promote Kenneth Cole on your paper?

Lots of questions for sure! A debate that definitely needs more thought. But I do absolutely think that if this is used strategically, as with anything you do in your business, it can very beneficial.

What are your thought on this? I’m I over-analyzing this? I would love to hear your take on it, so please leave me a comment below!

 

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