Social Media

Auto-generating a list of authors whose articles you found interesting

Over the course of a year, you probably end up reading hundreds of interesting articles. Even if you read just one interesting article every week day, that’s 240 interesting articles in one year. In this digital age, we mostly ignore who wrote the article. We might even ignore the publication.

Whenever I read an interesting article, I save it in my Evernote, because it drives me nuts when a couple weeks later I want to share that article with someone, but I can’t remember what it was. So now I have this archive of interesting articles. It would be fun to take all the authors of the articles and pull them all into one twitter list of “people who write interesting articles.”

Most people don’t save articles in Evernote, instead we tweet them or post them on Facebook. So perhaps this tool would take all the articles a person shared on social media and do the analysis from that. Perhaps the resulting list might be just a bunch of one-time writers. Another dataset to pull from might be all the friends of someone on Facebook and/or Twitter. Which authors are your friends tweeting about the most?

I rather miss when there was a plethora of free Twitter tools to analyze tweets. At the very least, I would like to see which domains I link to the most.

My top Nuzzel stories

An example of Nuzzel results

However instead of authors or domains, you can see which articles are being linked to the most. There is a fun service called Nuzzel that lists the links your friends are sharing the most. For instance, in the last 24 hours:

The service is rather fun as it shows who tweeted the article, along with their Twitter icon, and the original tweet. The layout is very simple with one column. If I find an article interesting, I make sure to at-reply a comment to one of the people who tweeted the article.

Paper.li example

An example of a paper.li publication

If you find your friend feed is way too diverse, then you can connect Nuzzel to a list with focused Twitter users. I have a Nuzzel for the Chicago Visual Arts list. However, this service works better when your list is large. Currently this art list has 50 members, so most of the results are articles shared by only one account. My friends list of 1000 people gets 3-6 shares per article. Nuzzel is a lot like Paper.li, only Nuzzle is much more transparent with what articles show up. With Paper.li, you don’t really know why certain articles are selected for the top. (An example is my Chicago Visual Arts Paper.li–which oddly hasn’t been updating in the past week)

For now at the end of 2015, we can see which articles are being shared most by our friends. I hope in 2016, we can start see which authors and publications are being shared the most.

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[…] Take all the articles you’ve read the past year. Imagine if you could automatically build a list the author names who wrote most of those articles? Would you find that sort of service helpful? On my content strategy blog, I write about such an idea. Read the post and let me know what you think in the comments: What if you could automatically build a list of all the authors. […]

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