Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Paper.li Interview Series

One of our goals at Paper.li is to connect like minded people. One way we can do this is through adding a whole lot more stats about other publishers, contributors, viewers and subscribers… which are on the way.

Another way is through an old fashioned interview. We tried this a couple of weeks back with Paper.li contributor Mel Young and received great response from the community.

Over the coming weeks I will conduct more interviews with our community and highlight the people behind the Paper.lis. If you would like to be a part of our interview series, drop me a line at info@smallrivers.com with answers to the below questions:

  • You: (work, personal, interests)
  • The name of your Paper.li(s) / Paper.li you contribute to
  • Why you created your paper.li(s) / Why you think the service is cool
  • Things you like/ Things you don’t/ Things you’d like to see
  • Best discovery through the service (content, Twitter user, vacation spot, )

Publishers, bloggers, contributors, subscribers...we look forward to hearing from you.

Interview notes will be used solely for the purpose of creating our upcoming Interview Series and input to product development.

Image: findicons.com

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tips from the Team - Modifiers and Hyperlinks

This week I stumbled across a couple of value add ons for your Daily that I wanted to share :

  • adding a textile modifier to your Daily title
  • adding a hyperlink to your Editor's note

Textile Modifiers for Your Title Line

You are most likely familiar with the standard modifiers; italic, bold and bold and italic. How about trying a sub or superscript modifier like the one below?

superscript : make it ^_high_^ = make it high

subscript : make it ~*_low_*~ = make it low

_italics_ = italics

* bold* = bold _

* bold italics*_ = bold italics

Hyperlink in the Editors Note

The Editor’s note is a good tool for providing additional information about your Daily to your viewers. Most of our users don't know that a hyperlink can be added.

Insert the html code seen below into your note, replacing the example URL and description/ name with your own.

The final result will be a hyperlink as seen below.

Good weekend, and good publishing!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another kind of World Cup

Back in December our team met Social Entrepreneur Mel Young at LeWeb conference in Paris. Mel was looking for opportunities to promote his organization, The Homeless World Cup, and international football tournament that uses the sport of soccer as a catalyst to encourage homeless people to change their lives and beat homelessness.

Mel's cause is inspiring and a story worth sharing. So this week, no features or functionality. It's a post about an interview with a member of the Paper.li community.

Q: How did the Homeless World Cup begin?

Mel: In 2001 I was attending the International Network of Street Papers conference in South Africa. Another delegate, Harold Schmeid, and I went for beer afterwards and started brainstorming about the need for a conference that included the homeless, not just spoke about the issues surrounding them. But the language was always an issue. How could we invent an international language that we could use to communicate the issues of homeless around the world? Then it dawned on us that one already existed with football.

One thing led to another and by morning it was agreed that we would organize a one-off football tournament for the homeless. 18 months later the first Homeless World Cup was played in Graz, Austria, hosting 18 nations. The Austrian team won and their centre forward Angus Okanume went on to play for a professional team.

Q: What opportunity did you see for the Homeless World Cup?

Mel: There are huge issues and system failures today in supporting the homeless. We don’t know how to fix them, but we can do some things - simple things -to facilitate change. Just the hope of a good moment can change a person. Sport unites people and sport is inclusive, which combats the social exclusion that the homeless feel.

Q: How do you get the word out?

Mel: Through partner organizations such as the homeless papers, local shelters and word on the street.

Q: What are your thoughts on the role of social media?

Mel: More and more we see the homeless reaching out for phones, before food. Social media is a way for us to reach out the them, and them to others and us. The homeless can quickly connect and build communities through technology.

Q: How do you use paper.li?

Mel: Currently we contribute to the #homeless Daily. We use this to keep current and as well as educate and inform partners on the global issue of homelessness. We are looking into setting up local papers for each country in the future so we can focus on the issues close to the people.

Q: What is your goal for the Homeless World Cup?

Mel: Ultimately, not to have the need to raise awareness for homelessness through events such as a Homeless World Cup.Until then, to inspire and mentor our players into making positive change for themselves and put on a world class homeless tournament each year.

80% of people who participate in the Homeless World Cup change their lives forever. It is proud moment when someone can talk about their involvement in the training or that played in the tournament itself. It gives them the confidence to go out and apply for a job – and land the job. We try to identify leaders and they come back as coaches and brilliant ambassadors.

Our head coach, David Duke tried out and played on the team in 2004. Afterwards he went on to get his Scottish Football Association coaching badges and in 2006 became the head coach of the Scottish Team.

There are David Dukes in every city of every country.

The next Homeless World Cup will take place at the Champ de Mars, Paris August 21 - 28.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Advanced Queries

A couple of weeks ago we published a blog post on Publishing a Paper.li. Afterwards I received numerous requests to highlight best practices in searches and queries for Twitter based paper, and there was a clear trend in users requesting assistance on contextual searches. In other words, searches that would make their content more relevant to their viewers.
Structured and well thought-out queries will help you to get the most relevant content for your audience.
Queries for Context
Mastering queries in order to add contextual relevance can take some time. But they pay off. More effort = better end result.
The #tag is used to give context to a tweet. In terms of Twitter search and the creation of a Custom Paper with a focus, take the time to get familiar with the way users are expressing themselves around a topic and understand the context before creating your paper.
This can be done by searching Twitter for a topic that you are interested in and viewing what key words, #tags and other @users comes up around it. From there you can begin to learn the language around your topic and narrow your search.
Example: Education
  • #education. I am interested in the topic of education in general. I start a search on Twitter with one word to see what it brings back.

The first three queries have been performed with Twitter search . If you create an OR statement, or an + (this means "and") statement, with the standard search feature, you will need to insert either OR, or, + between the words.
Query number four was performed with Twitter Advanced Search. Here you do not need to add the OR, or ,+ in between key words. Once you feel comfortable with your topic, the Advanced Search option works very well.
Character limit: A custom paper focus will only support 200 characters.
Let us know how your query goes. Good publishing!

Keep the Presses Rolling!

Yes, it happened. Yesterday for a few hours we actually had to say no to new paper creation.

Due to a surge in demand, we had to ask users to "hold off" on creating papers so we could ensure the overall quality of service for all of our publishers. Consequently the updating of existing papers needed to be halted as well for a few hours.

By today all presses were again rolling, papers were updating and the service was fully functioning. We thank you for your patience and appreciated the support of all of our publishers, new and existing.

Good publishing and let the presses roll!
The team at Paper.li