The process is quite simple. You go to http://www.paper.li and log in using your Twitter account. Then you click on the button that says "Start a Paper" You will get a screen that looks like this:
In the upper box you enter a title for your paper. Keep the title short but descriptive.
After that you begin to add "streams." These streams are places or keywords the program will search to find content. You can test out the keywords and hashtags by going to the twitter page and running a search on your key words. Let's take a closer look at the items you can add.
First, you can add a single user. This will essentially pull every Tweet from that User. For instance, in my Publishing News for Writers I have the user name for Publishers Weekly and Writers Digest among my streams. Of course, if you want to limit what you get, you can add a filter.
Say I'm preparing a newspaper about Egyptian Archeology. I might want to get the news from Archeology Magazine. So, I enter the Twitter User name for the magazine @archaeologymag . But I'm only interested in Egyptian archeology, so I click on the option to add a filter. I can put in either an exact phrase, or a search which contains all the words I designate, though not in that order, that has any of the words I designate or none of the words I give. Well, in the example, I put in several keywords that would appear in tweets and articles I would be interested in seeing included in the paper.
Secondly, I can choose to include myself and people I follow in the list. If I follow a lot of people who post interesting stuff about this subject, adding them to the list makes sense, but again it is good to identify some filters other wise you might have the program serve up their vacation videos or links to their kids softball scores.
I can also add a Twitter List. This would be a select list of my followers which I create on the Twitter site. So, maybe I have a list of archeology feeds from the Smithsonian, Biblical Archeology Review, National Geographic etc. I can put them all into a single list and the program searches those tweets for links to articles, videos, pictures and blogs.
Next, I can add a Twitter #tag. If you use Twitter a lot you know that hashtags (#tags) are ways you can use the twitter public search engine to find tweets on a certain subject. So I might include create a feed using #egypt or #egyptology or #pyramid
The Keywords work like the hashtags just without the hashmark. However, the words are less likely to be specific to that subject. For instance, someone might post something like Before you go to egypt check out this video. Doesn't relate to Egyptian archeology at all.
You can also search through Keywords on Facebook. Again, probably will turn up more false positives than you would like. But using a carefully defined filter it can work.
Finally, you can add an RSS feed. Many blogs, online magazines and websites have RSS feeds. One of my favorite publications, The New Scientist has a bunch of them. I could create an entire newspaper just out of their RSS feeds.
Below this section you have a few more options:
You can choose a language. You might start by leaving it set at Any Language and see if you get too many posts outside your chosen language. Since English, for good or for ill, is pretty much the Lingua Franca of the Web, you probably won't limit yourself too much by choosing it. Other languages may produce fewer stories.
Under this there is a list of possible sections you can create for your paper. If you uncheck them all then your key words and hashtags will be used. If you leave some of the items checked then the program will automatically try to separate them into the appropriate categories with fairly good results.
Once you are finished, you click publish and the program goes to work collecting the stories for your first issue.
Tomorrow: How to Customize and Promote Your Paper