The live stream that is the internet is an exciting, dynamic place, but I must say the construct of “an issue” still has appeal. There’s something to be said for content that isn’t changing. Having an artificial stopwatch on this stream—a snapshot—helps bring order. I can think about what happened, not what’s happening. It’s “today’s paper” and not “now’s” paper. (Notice www.nytimes.com has a “Today’s Paper” link at the top? A nice feature.)

 

With that in mind, a mobile development and social media company based here in Baltimore, Mindgrub, whose work I admire, turned me on to its daily “issue” of its Twitter and social media feeds, branded with their company name and location:http://paper.li/mindgrub. I’m sure many have heard of paper.li before, but I hadn’t paid much attention. I decided to subscribe, so every day, a link to the issue pops in my inbox, and while I don’t read it every day, I find it a great snapshot for when I do have a moment because I like this company’s filtered view – it has bits from Baltimore as well mobile and social media feeds. And I like that it stays still.

 

I spoke with their company president about his experience with it. He sees it as a marketing tool, but not surprisingly, he uses it for himself to make sense of the streams. The Daily is composed of posts from followers as well as those the company is following. It therefore gives him a really focused presentation of the Twitter feeds he wants; like me, he appreciates the stability of an “issue”. There’s also a Facebook service in development, which I’ve only started to experiment with.

 

One of the most valuable services I noticed is the archiving. To see the “issue” from a month ago is one of those details that comes in handy when you least know it. What was your school tweeting about in September? Has some merit. In the digital age, one big worry I have is the disappearance of the archives, and this is at least the start of an answer.

 

We created one – http://paper.li/silverpoint and it was interesting to see what came out. You can set publish settings for multiple times a day, daily or weekly. There appear to be a variety of language options and ways to tweak how the paper gets populated, which we might experiment with.

 

There’s room for improvement and there are alternative products, but I’ve found it a really nice twist on stopping the stream, for a moment at least.

Angelo Otterbein

Angelo Otterbein

Chief Innovation Officer at Finalsite

Angelo Otterbein graduated from St. Paul's School in Baltimore, MD for which he later wrote their 150-year history, and from Princeton University where he graduated as a certified teacher, with a degree in English Literature, and having taken a variety of courses in the computer science department. He founded Silverpoint in 1996 when he also held a faculty position teaching advanced digital media and web design to art majors at Villa Julie College in Baltimore. While at Silverpoint, Angelo has given dozens of presentations across the country and overseas for associations and school conferences about web design, trends in digital media and web development, and the role of the Internet in education. While there is no connection between his last name and the Otterbein neighborhood in Baltimore, don't be afraid to ask him about the Otterbein cookies, which are scattered far and wide throughout the city.

http://www.finalsite.com