The Society Weekly

I’m finding some very interesting implementations of the paper.li online newspaper platform. It never ceases to amaze me how far one tweet can go. But, although there are several very good genealogy dailies published, I’ve yet to see a genealogy society take advantage this medium. I find this quite surprising.

If you’re not familiar with this online newspaper platform, paper.li generates its content from Twitter. It follows the links included in Twitter messages and pulls that content into a newspaper format. The easiest way to do this is to build a Twitter list – a collection of Twitter users you follow – but you can also use specified users, hash tags and/or search strings.

The paper.li platform costs you nothing to use and even if your society isn’t using Twitter to keep members updated, you can either create your own Twitter list or use one already created by someone else. Many of the well-known genealogy sources post Twitter updates so your newspaper can include updates from Ancestry, Footnote, Cyndi’s List and most of the genealogy software developers. You might also include genealogy authors, other societies and any of your members who tweet. In the list I used for the sample shown here, I’ve included businesses, archives and well-known bloggers in my list. Each day (for a daily) paper.li searches all the sources identified in your settings for new content which is then pulled in and organized into the newspaper format. Using keywords found in that content, the articles are organized into categories similar to those found in a “regular” newspaper. When there are too many articles to display on the front page, a category will include a link to the additional articles in the section heading.

Not enough content in your settings to support a daily paper? No problem! You can publish a weekly instead. paper.li will automatically announce each new edition via Twitter if you select that option or your readers can choose to subscribe – either via email or RSS feed. And it maintains an archive of previous issues too. What’s not to like about all this?

Drop by paper.li and take a look at some of the fascinating ways others are creating great reading experiences. You can give your society membership a publication providing great articles and useful news from around the genealogy community with very little effort on your part. Even if you start with a simple Twitter list, you can easily tweak your list at any time and the next edition will reflect your changes.

It’s a win-win situation for your society and your membership.

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