Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

What has happened to paper.li?

For some time now I’ve been using the paper.li web site to make sense of Twitter.

One can get overwhelmed by so many tweets on different topics, and now that Twitter has added pictures, it’s become a bit of a bandwidth hog too, producing nearly as many “a script is not responding” messages as Facebook.

Paper.li produces a digest of articles with links on Twitter, suitably formatted and headlined. My personal one is The Steve Hayes Daily, which it makes from my Twitter feed.

But what I found even more useful was the ones based on Twitter hashtags, which enabled one to follow topics of interest. So I regularly look at The #Theology Daily and The #orthodox Daily.

There wasn’t one for my own field of Missiology, but paper.li let me create one, with the URL http://paper.li/tag/missiology. And you can see it as The #missiology Daily. So if anyone posts a link on Twitter to a missiological article, and includes the hashtag #missiology in the tweet, all those links will be conveniently collected in one place.

The problem is that paper.li no longer appears to allow this. The existing papers based on hashtags continue, but it seems that it is not possible to create new ones.

Inklings

Inklings

I am interested in the group of authors known as the Inklings (who include, among others, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, J.R.R. Tolkien and Owen Barfield). There quite a number of bloggers who blog about these authors, and there are other interesting articles on their works that people tweet about, and I thought it would be nice to see tweets about them in one place, so I looked for an #Inklings paper on paper.li, which would have the URL http://paper.li/tag/inklings.

But there wasn’t one.

But paper.li invited me to create one.

I tried to do so, but the URL wasn’t based on the tag, it was based on my name, and the content was a mishmash of stuff, none of which seemed to relate to the #inklings hashtag. I deleted it and tried again, but it still didn’t work. So it seems that the people at paper.li have removed the functionality of creating a paper based on a hashtag.

Boo hiss!

Actually the people who run web sites seem to do this quite often. They come up with something that people find useful, and attract them to start using the site, and then they remove the very thing that attracted them. They seem incapable of learning the lesson that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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3 thoughts on “What has happened to paper.li?

  1. If it’s not working then look for an alternative. http://tweetedtimes.com/ or http://tagboard.com might do it?

  2. Hello there! I am Magda and I’m the Communications Manager at Paper.li. I want to thank you for providing your feedback and also wanted to respond.

    We used to create automatically papers based on popular hashtags. The papers we created at the time are still reachable but we saw that our users preferred creating their own papers and have a more personalized and controlled experience. Because of that, we don’t create new automated papers.

    However, you can create a paper on any hashtag you want. When you enter a hashtag, the default paper includes a mix of Twitter users, Twitter search, RSS feeds and G+ content based on the keyword you enter. If you are only interested in following one hashtag, simply head to the content tab of the paper you created, remove all the sources and add a new one with the hashtag you want to follow. You can follow several hashtag in a single paper or have one paper per hashtag as you prefer.

    If you have any questions, we’d love to help out. Write us to support@paper.li or tweet us @paper_li and we’ll gladly assist you in getting just the content you want to get.

    • Aye, but the “real” hastag papers can be found because they have URLS like paper.li/tag/missiology, which os one that I reated. It is not “owned” by anyone, it is just used by people who want to, and so is useful.

      I would like there to be one called paper.li/tag/inklings — not in my name, but simply there for anyone who wants to use it. That was what was nice about paper.li — it creates a digest of tweets according to topics one is interested in. The new system doesn’t do it nearly as well, if at all.

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