Thursday, September 09, 2010

Paper.li vs. Twittertim.es

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about using Twitter with Paper.li to create a focused daily paper (link here.) I was impressed with its ability to gather together top tweets from people I follow and to lay them out in a readable format. I was also pleased to discover that, because my follow list is rather focused, what I ended up with was a nice summary of the previous days news in my fields of interest.

Later that week, someone told me about Twittertim.es (Twitter Times.) The Twitter Times is similar to Paper.li in that it collects links from my Twitter follow list and gathers them together in one easy to read newspaper format. There are a few differences that I have noticed since I started using both of them.

The first thing that I noticed was a difference in timeliness. Paper.li pulls in some of the top tweets from the people I follow but it doesn't display them until the next day. Twitter Times updates its paper all day long. Now, neither approach is necessarily better than the other--just different. This may affect your preference for one over the other. I happen to like both approaches, so I still use both papers.

The real difference maker, as far as I'm concerned, is the method each paper uses to post articles. Paper.li carries little more than the header--sometimes just the tweet--while Twitter Times posts a nice snippet of the article that you can expand in the page. It's a lot easier to determine if something is worth an RT if you can actually read it without leaving the page.

Another issue for me is the method each uses for retweeting. Paper.li gives you a box for a simple retweet with no option to edit it with hash tags or comments. Twitter Times opens a text box within the page, allowing you to edit your tweet. This makes a big difference to me, because I use hash tags to select certain tweets for bookmarking or sharing on other social networks. Paper.li doesn't even adhere to standard RT protocol--the originator of the link is not mentioned in the tweet. When I retweet from Paper.li, I feel like I'm stealing someone else's credit. However, Paper.li uses Twitter's retweet protocol, while Twitertim.es does not. This makes me feel like I am stealing someone else's work.

So, while I enjoy using both services, Twitter Times gives me more control over when and how I share information from people I follow. That has me leaning more on towards Twitter Times every day.

If you want to compare the two, feel free to check out my papers at:

http://twittertim.es/reftechrob
http://paper.li/reftechrob

Update 12/9/2012

Twittertim.es has changed to the Tweeted Times. I have also been unable to access my paper.li account and am unable to contact them to gain access either apparently the only way to contact them is to sign in and there is a glitch with that process for me. I am now having greater success with the Tweeted Times. That paper can be found at:

http://tweetedtimes.com/#!/reftechrob/createedtech


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