I’ve written before about Twitter and how to use it, but despite being a fan, my usage recently has dropped off. My problem is sorting out the wheat from the chaff and trawling through a large stream of dreadful tweets, trying to find the ones worth reading and the links worth clicking.
I’ve found some real gems on Twitter – but oh boy is it time consuming and as I’m already drowning under a sea of information I just can’t spare the time to trawl through every day.
‘But lo! what light through yonder window breaks?’ I’ve found a solution!
A way to make Twitter’s torrent of trivia and treasure digestible. A way to make it more like reading a newspaper. A way to classify all this ‘stuff’ into an orderly pattern. A way to classify topics by subject matter. A way to visualise and pull out the stories behind those 140 characters. In other words it’s a way to digest the tweets that carry links – by giving prominence to the content in the link, rather than the often poor 140 character summary of it.
The solution is found here – paper.li is a means of turning Twitter into a daily newspaper, delived to your inbox ready for you to click.
What this doesn’t do though is in any way substitute for the pleasure of the well-crafted non-linked 140 character ‘story’. The people who make you laugh with their short, sharp, acerbic takes on life. The people who comment in the moment – when you’re watching the World Cup, the Eurovision Song Concert or a national election – and they perfectly capture the moment. But you soon discover who they are and can keep them safely captured in a Twitter list.
The other beautiful opportunity that Twitter Daily offers is to set up a page that captures stories around a particular topic that you’re interested in. So as well as (or instead of) capturing your own Twitter stream, you can set up a daily digest around a hashtag – so if you’re wanting to know everything that’s current on #breeding rabbits, #underfloor heating or #openheartsurgery you can have a digest delivered to your inbox daily.
I was introduced to Twitter Daily by @clareob who told me she’s been using it for ages and was stunned by how slow people have been to take it up. I was one – I don’t remember her email or tweet alerting me to it. But I’m remedying that now!