We recently found out that Facebook is responsible for roughly one in four page views in the US, surpassing even Google. And in spite of the format changes and altered profile layouts, there comes a point (for some of us) where scrolling through the monotony of the News Feed becomes time-consuming, even boring. This situation is even worse with Twitter, where you’re barraged by constantly updating Tweets. For every useful, interesting nugget of information, you’re subjected to 10 spam accounts and a host of unnecessary Twitpics. So if you want to keep up with your social networking life without losing precious time from your real one, we’ve got a few aggregator sites for you to consider.
Paper.li lets you organize either your Twitter or Facebook account into a digital newspaper. The Twitter edition let you choose a list, hashtag, or username (including its followers) for your paper, and you’re presented with the daily edition of everything under that domain. It’s easily an easy on the eyes layout, complete with images and videos.
The Facebook version, currently in beta, allows you to name your publication and choose topics for more focused results. This service works by compiling results from public posts from your account. Of course, this is a third-party application which you have to grant access to. After it’s finished, you get a newspaper full of links, videos, and photos that are ranked based on your topic search.
For the moment, these papers are public – meaning anyone can find your personalized paper, but there is a possibility of future privacy. There also could be a numerical count of users reading your personal publication, giving you insight on how many people out there are enjoying your paper.
This site gives you a “real-time personalized newspaper” by pulling content from your Twitter account. It focuses the Tweets it chooses around major publications, so that the customized newspaper you’re getting actually contains verifiable sources. It also has a “Featured Newspapers” section, with popular generated publications for you to browse. Twitter especially has a UI that isn’t particularly friendly for prolonged reading, and Twitter Tim.es makes it a much more enjoyable process.
PostPost (no relation to the super glitchy Twitter and Flickr aggregator PostPo.st) arguably has the most eye-pleasing presentation and competes with Paper.li for most effective feature. It simply minimizes the time a user spends scrolling through the News Feed for those few and far between interesting posts, instead collating them onto one page. It also allows users to alter the size for viewing ease (Take that, Facebook’s new font size!) and block unwanted content. Unlike the other sites, PostPost fills up your entire screen and best replicates the feel of an actual online media source – just this one happens to be dedicated to you and your friends.
The only caveat we can find in PostPost is that it demands a little more of your data than the other sites. While they all request users’ basic information and posts in your News Feed, PostPost also wants to be able to post any content it wants to your wall.
This site takes the social media aggregator business to a whole new level. Instead of just reformatting your Facebook information on another site, Ninuku is in the business of organizing all your activity into a printable PDF. While part of its purpose is to allow users to collect and cherish their Facebooks as scrapbooks, it’s also to give you the option of wiping your information out of Facebook’s servers. It obviously isn’t a daily solution, but those in need of some serious digital cleanup might be interested.
Unlike the other sites, this one isn’t free – Ninuku’s services cost $24 a year, and of course you’re allowing it a great deal of access to your account. But if all that sounds good, then get ready to sit down with your own tangible version of Facebook.