Crowdsourcing gathers the collective knowledge from a group of people. Curation is a way to organize and display content. In my perfect world, we merge both concepts to form a crowdsourced content curation process. I figure it stands to reason, if we are more diverse thinkers as a group than as individuals, we need to find a way to organize and display this collective thinking to help each other Learn – Use – Grow together.
Here is one example – Liberty Public Schools is a fairly large district (over 13,000 K-12 students) with 11 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 2 high schools and 1 alternative school. I am very excited to report many schools are now using Twitter hashtags and engaging in lively educational conversations. The only problem that I see with this process is that if you don’t follow all 18 hashtags on a regular basis, you may miss some amazing thinking and connections you could be making in your own backyard.
Insert the idea behind exploring Paper.li as a way to curate content shared through different Twitter hashtags. Paper.li is an online newspaper that allows you to pull content and organize it in meaningful ways.
Check out the steps it took to create our new weekly publication called Liberty LEADS Transformation:
- Sign up for a Paper.li account (free works for me).
- Checkout the helpful tutorials if you aren’t the exploring type.
- Set your global settings – title, subtitle, publishing schedule (yes, it will automatically publish for you according to your time schedule). I did set a recurring Outlook invite to remind myself to review the paper prior to it being automatically tweeted out. I can edit the categories and change the order for the posts. Please note you do not have to create papers solely based on Tweets. This is just our starting point.
- Content is where it counts. Remember, we have 18 schools with various hashtags? Well, the system can be set up to pull the posts from all of the hashtags (see image to the right). The author of the Paper.li account can add or delete hashtags as necessary.
- Change your “Paper Sections” – I chose to use Education and Technology. I really want to change the available section titles, but that is not an option yet – forums indicate they are working this feature!
- Change the layout “look and feel” of the paper by adding a custom background and thumbnail. You can also change the color and font schemes. Note this is a work in progress for our paper.
- Select “Promotion and Emails” to determine if you allow email notification (some non Twitter users may also want to subscribe and connect).
- Set your scheduled Twitter text to automatically post according to your publication schedule. Be sure to add hashtags to promote your paper.
- If you allow mentions, a few of your News Spotters will also be included in your Tweet.
- There are limited analytics you can see if you are a free account holder such as the number of subscribers and views for your newspaper. You have to pay if you want more in-depth analysis.
I really like the “Trending Hashtags” part of the paper. Notice the two hashtags listed on the top of our LEADS paper below. This indicates the hashtags that were most used from all of the Twitter sources pulled for this paper.
To wrap up, what are the biggest selling points for me?
- The paper is created by anyone contributing to attached school hashtags.
- Readers can click on the individual posts and view the entire article, follow the person who tweeted the post, retweet, and favorite tweets to name a few features.
- After the initial setup, the paper is automatically generated each week.
- The account holder sets the publish date. Updates to our paper will post every Tuesday at 2:00 pm and an invitation tweet will automatically hit #lpsleads.
Take a look and let me know what you think – Liberty L.E.A.D.S.
(Yes, I should embed my paper here, but can’t find a WordPress embed widget that I can’t live without. Leave comments below if you have one I should be using!)