When I started social networking back in January of this year, everything was a learning curve - blogging, twitter, fb - and everything about them. One day a tweet popped up from XY saying: The XY Daily is out. I was following XY (obviously) and I thought: Oooh what's that? Must go take a look. I was amazed by what I found - pages of articles, at least 50, in XY's personal newspaper. Now XY has a full-time job (a very demanding one at that) and several children housed in a sizeable house that needs running.... how did she get the time to trawl through all the articles every day in order to fill her daily newspaper? Baffled, I asked one of my blogging and PR gurus. "It's autogenerated," was the reply.
One Saturday I was online and XY's tweet announcing her daily appeared again. Did I mention that XY is an orthodox Jew and so there is no way she would be online on a Saturday? I knew that my guru had been right. So what was the point of having an online newspaper that came out daily in your name with 50 random articles from around the net? Guru didn't know.
Thriving In Midlife Daily created by @drdebbiegrove and also in a number of IVF and fertility dailies as I've been writing about my IVF Journey. This told me that the articles included are not entirely random although they are still somewhat hit and miss. In the Thriving In Midlife Daily they are just as likely to choose a post about the Nestle Boycott as anything on topic. I could write a post saying I was totally depressed about my age and not coping at all but the search engine would only see another post from Midlife who fits the key words description.
However, on the whole I totally get why these dailies (set up by paper.li) of a particular topic are useful. If you are undergoing IVF you would be happy to have a daily roundup of relevant articles all on one page and you could subscribe to an IVF or fertility daily. Likewise, you may be very interested in the whole midlife phenomenon - as a subject experiencing it, a healthcare professional in the field, a business catering to, etc... Other dailies focus on financial topics, IT, environmental issues, vegetarianism, living gluten free, etc... I totally get it.
article by Shel Israel which raised a few more questions but he couldn't really fathom it either. Some of the comments are interesting though.
Last night I received a tweet announcing a daily and giving me the usual heads up: top stories via @midlifesinglem (among others). I replied to the 'host' with my usual 'thank you' and for some reason, clicked on the link to find my post. I couldn't find it. I trawled every article included (which you can also see in a list) but I was definitely not there. After a few directions from other tweeps, I eventually found my name under another post whose link I had retweeted. And the link under my name was to the retweeted tweet not even to my blog at least. I was pissed off. Not at the creator of the paper but at the misinformation - a link to an RT is hardly a top story today.
After a few backwards and forwards among tweeps I understood that via doesn't necessarily mean it's my article, it may be that I merely recommended the article by retweeting it. Although, as Shel Israel points out, if I'd tweeted 'I totally diagree with this' it would still have been brought to the paper via me with no indication that I did not endorse it. It also looks like I wrote the article in the daily as my name appears under it (of course on opening it you would see otherwise). Ok, nitpicking aside, I still didn't understand what it's for. There's no advertising for example.
One woman who has her own daily, explained it to me thus: It's a page of articles written by or recommended by the people I follow. It also increases my page hits. I can see that it would be useful for the host to have such a document in order to see what the people you're interested in are writing or are interested in themselves. Thus taking it further than a simple blog roll by including RTs from those without their own blogs, and also including RTs about newpaper and journal articles. And we all want more hits or we wouldn't bother to blog publicly.
But I still have a couple of questions. Why would loads of tweeps be interested in a round-up of the articles that are likely to interest me, according to my key words? Surely it would be like using my Stumbled Upon account instead of setting up your own profile or not using it at all? Do people read the personal dailies that are tweeted to them? Do you? I'm interested to know if I've missed the point on this one and would be very happy to be enlightened. I understand that it's a handy tool for personal use but further than that I am quite frankly intrigued.