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Boy Did I Step into a Hornet’s Nest with Paper.li

So about six months ago or so I signed up for this service called “Paper.li” which creates an online newspaper out of the tweets of your followers. I found it interesting, because it’s kind of like Twitter on shuffle.

Turns out some authors were getting annoyed when they would get picked up by Paper.li. Not Mashable or the big boys, mind you, and some people were excited to be featured. Others however, took major issue, but I did not interpret their concern as serious in nature. There’s only so much context you can read into 140 character tweets and what I read as fun sarcasm was, in retrospect, annoyance. I’m kind of dense that way.

One attorney in particular, Scott Greenfield, wrote a blistering post about our use of Paper.li and how he felt we were freeloading his content to further our marketing goals. It was compounded by a misread on my part about the nature of our Twitter correspondence (did I mention that I’m dense that way)? I thought we were good natured-ly joking, even when I told him he complains “like an old woman or a bus” and was totally taken aback when I saw his post, feeling we were using his content to market our product.

Oh boy. We weren’t joking around. At all. Moral of the story: never tell someone they sound like a whining old lady on a bus unless you are really, really, really sure you’re on the same wavelength. Sorry Scott. Did I mention how dense I am when it comes to Twitter?

Needless to say, our goal was not to freeload content. Paper.li was one of those things you sign up for and then forget about. We produce a lot of content ourselves, so we are sensitive to Mr. Greefield’s concerns, and I killed the daily without thinking twice. I submitted a comment on his post, which is currently under moderation. But here’s my reply:

Hi Scott:

I’m Larry Port, the individual behind Rocket Matter’s decision to sign up for paper.li.

In response to your post, I’ve taken our paper.li offline. Our intention was never to freeload. We found paper.li to be interesting because it culls content from the people we follow on Twitter, kind of like “Twitter on Shuffle.”

Paper.li as far as we’re concerned, is a novelty and isn’t the meat of our marketing sandwich. It’s not the mustard either. It was an automated bot set up a while ago that just does its own thing. If anyone else follows you who has a paper.li account, you may appear on theirs as well.

In terms of the “whining like an old lady on a bus” comment, I misread our communications as one of joking banter. We push the envelope on Twitter, and this was my honest misread.

In any case, out of respect for your content, and now that we know your feelings and thoughts about the matter, our daily is now history.

If you’d like to discuss this matter with me personally, I invite you to contact me at larry@rocketmatter.com.

Regards,

Larry Port
Rocket Matter, LLC

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