Paper.Li is a content curation website that is built to look like an online newspaper. People tweet articles, and the service scrapes the tweets from Twitter and populates a news page. Tweets often go out that look something like this:
— Dominic Glatzel (@dominicglatzel) May 18, 2012
Typically, I’d be thrilled to have a “top story.” However, something is amiss. Below is a screenshot taken 30 seconds after this tweet went out. Where is my top story?
My article, which was a story about Groupon, was buried way down below the fold. I was able to find it, but it is often quite difficult to actually find your featured article. In such a case, I typically do a command-F and search my browser screen for “rizzotees” in order to locate the article.
I mean no disrespect to Dominic, the publisher featured above. Many Twitter users continue to use the service. But when I see a “top story” tweet go out, as a reader I’ll be looking for the cited story. And as the featured author, I’ll also be looking for the story. If we don’t find it where top stories are usually located (at the top), the entire effort is kind of a misfire. Perhaps Paper.Li is not trying to adhere to any journalistic standards, which would be their choice. My recommendation? Put so-called top stories where they belong. Then, Twitter users who get their tweets featured, and who then see their Twitter username in a tweet will get overly excited when they proceed to your Paper.Li page and find themselves at the top.
Without such changes, the Paper.Li experience falls a bit flat for me.