Being immersed in a wealth of data, information and knowledge every day keeps you on your toes — and on the verge of being completely overwhelmed.
That’s why we’ve created a daily Twitter newspaper to do the work for you. (Click the screen capture above to see how).
Librarians and other “knowledge management” workers realize that for those seeking answers to their questions, new technologies are making the quest for information more simple and more complex at the same time.
It seems that every day, we increase our ability to collect, repurpose and disseminate all types of resources in new engaging ways.
The downside is that as technology gets more sophisticated…technology gets more sophisticated! After all, who wants to learn how to use a new tool when they’re more interested in what that tool is used for — especially when they may not need to use that tool regularly?
Take Twitter for example. The mass-text messaging service has gone mainstream, with people around the world using it to promote everything from mundane personal activities to overthrowing governments.
Many people have an awareness that they can use (or at least dip into) the transportation news conversation via Twitter, bringing resources from around the world directly to their smartphone or desktop.
But those who are already overloaded don’t welcome learning yet another social media tool (let alone TweetDeck, HootSuite and other “twitterific” enhancements) — and even those who do can’t easily keep up with the glut of information now available to them only 140 characters at a time.
This is where Paper.li comes in. It is a new tool used in conjunction with Twitter to ease the pain of sifting through a long list of chronologically-published tweets.
Paper.li takes the tweets of those you follow on Twitter, categorizes them, and publishes them like a daily newspaper.
(Click the screen capture below to see the current day’s edition).
We’ve been very active on Twitter over the past few years.
We follow more than 1,000 others on Twitter, including transit agencies, transportation advocates, government agencies, news outlets and other accounts dedicated to sharing information about transit and transportation.
In turn, we are followed by nearly 1,900 other Twitter users. At one point, our small two-person transportation library had more followers than Los Angeles Public Library and the County of Los Angeles Public Library system combined.
Those we follow on Twitter are divided up amongst several subject-oriented lists. We have hand-selected several of these tweeters so that their content is included in the Metro Library Twitter Daily.
Now you can keep up with the local and national transportation conversation without having to join and learn Twitter yourself!
But if you are on Twitter, we welcome you to follow us and explore our lists to see who else you might be interested in following.
Best of all, this tool requires little maintenance from us. Unlike our labor-intensive Los Angeles Transportation Headlines which we publish every workday for more than 1,500 consumers, our Twitter Daily is basically self-publishing, as the tweets are just fed into and formatted by the paper.li programming.
Paper.li is part of a burgeoning sector of social media: “Publishing 2.0.”
This type of “social curation” allows information providers to customize their product and consumers to zero in on exactly what they want.
We are experimenting with more subject-specific Paper.li daily news, such as “High-Speed Rail” and “Sustainability in Transportation.”
One challenge with that is following enough Twitter users who tweet often enough to support a daily digest of news and information.
Another is that each day the content is refreshed, so it is not archived to find tweets from previous days’ publications.
In the meantime, we are excited to offer our users another way to get in touch with up-to-the-minute news and information and follow the transportation conversation on Twitter — without having to sign on to, use, or be consumed by Twitter itself!
Bookmark this address or click the “Subscribe” button — and enjoy the Metro Library Twitter Daily!