What Do You See When You Visit http://Paper.Li/?

The other day I got a email from my boss, the Subject Line read as follows, ‘This Is Cool…’ – the email itself was fairly simple, and contained a single URL Link: http://paper.li/ultranex. When I asked my boss about the email and what she wanted me to do with it, her reply was also simple, ‘What The Heck Is It? How Can We Use It?’ I get these types of questions A LOT at my job, so naturally I went straight into Investigative Reporter mode.

It turns out that my reporting journey would be more fruitful than normal. I attended a social media seminar over the weekend and came back to work on Monday quite pleased with my findings. The seminar had actually mentioned the mythical ‘Paper.Li’ and through a bit more research I discovered the following answers:

What The Heck Is It?
According to its website, Paper.Li is defined as a platform that organizes links shared on Twitter into an “easy-to-read,” “newspaper-style” format. Newspapers can be created for Twitter users, lists or hash tags (#tags).

Ok – Fair enough. I registered my own Twitter handle to see what came up and how my landing page would look like within the platform, and it was actually pretty cool how it formatted into different areas like Photos, Education, Video, and Media automatically. Check out my URL here: http://paper.li/acmontgomery

One other thing I also liked was when I searched for other ‘Paper.Li’ accounts, the search results pulled up how many articles were concentrated around that particular account. This was interesting information that my boss was curious to learn about as a daily metric.  I am now following the daily article listings for these Paper.Li accounts:

http://paper.li/SocialMediaDel ; 249 Articles, Sept. 14
http://paper.li/LinkedInQueen ; 281 Articles, Sept. 14
http://paper.li/ChrisBrogan ; 40 Articles, Sept. 14

But with all new media, its good practice to exercise caution and enter timidly. I pulled up different articles from Forbes, Mashable, and BusinessWeek which all commented fairly about the downfalls to Paper.Li: “It would be nice to have better customization options when it comes to what sections the links are placed in, or how they are ordered on the page.  It’s also unlikely that Paper.li is  to completely replace newspapers, especially because at least some links shared on Twitter refer to them.”

Even after looking at the Pros/Cons of Twitter’s newest Paper in Crime, my original questions still remained…. What Do I See when I visit http://Paper.Li/? – To me it’s pretty simple, I see yet another extension of powerful primary social media platform (in this case Twitter) working in tandem with developing 2nd party platforms to create a entire new ultimate platform.  I also see yet another reason why I will get made fun of for not having an iPad; surely my friends will say, “Amanda, you love Paper.Li! Don’t you think it would be easier and more efficient to read that on an iPad instead of your old school laptop?” Maybe, but I am also still resorting to a Blackberry and I haven’t cracked for an iPhone 4 yet. The daily Twitter/Paper.Li feed is great…

I want to revisit this question when its developed into a second generation in about 8 months-