There’s a whole world of content discovery tools out there, waiting to make your life easier
An unconfirmed rumor about publishing platform Medium, a tool I am happy to use regularly, prompted me to reflect on content discovery, an absolutely fundamental feature for me and anybody else who relies on being able to access information quickly and easily.
The rumor is that Medium wants to include a Save to Medium feature that would allow readers to store longer articles from other sources to read later in its excellently designed format or share with others.
For me, Medium has gone from being the place where I publish my entries in English to a tool for content discovery, which I use systematically every morning to read the articles its recommendation system offers me.
Medium is a subscription platform, which already puts it in the minority, but for me, in addition to being proof that I am interested in anything that its founder, Evan Williams, is doing, is among the many subscriptions I pay that easily justifies its price: it not only reflects my belief that my content should be freely accessible, but also makes a bit of money for me. According to this month’s metrics, 57% of the authors who wrote at least one story for Medium earned income, 7.4% earned more than one hundred dollars, and every month there are several cases of stories that generate several thousand dollars for their authors. In addition, it allows me to give a second life to my articles in Forbes, which only require a five-day exclusivity.
More importantly, Medium has been developing an ecosystem of content consumption, sending me a series of articles each morning, a significant number of which are of interest to me, meaning it is now part of my daily routine to look through them, along with those from Feedly and Refind.
Feedly is a classic feed reader, an active news reader, as opposed to waiting for a social network to send something, which I use to manage the 40 or so sources that I monitor systematically. But Refind has become, in just over a year, one of my main tools for finding and managing content: Feedly is a source, but everything I find interesting through Feedly, together with what I select from other sources such as Medium or social networks, ends up stored in Refind, which allows me to carry out kinds of searches to easily find something I’ve just read about and need right now. Finally, I publish my selection on Flipboard, where my magazine, Technology Readings, is followed by just over 23,000 people.
Refind is still a relatively minority tool, although with healthy growth, a fairly select following and a loyal user base. The company still does not provide any data, but for me, in addition to my archive, it has become an indispensable place for content discovery, overlapping with Feedly and Medium. In addition, Refind generates a personal page where I store everything I publish, regardless of the publication or the language, which also serves as a repository.
The algorithm that Refind uses to select news of interest to me from the news I have already read is really good, and in addition to the selection it makes, it allows me to delve deeper into some specific themes or sources that I have defined as my interest, something that no other network allowed me to do. For me, it makes no sense to use tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to read news, although sometimes it generates an isolated article: my set of content discovery tools are simply at another level.
It will come as no surprise that somebody who teaches and writes about innovation has a highly organized set of content discovery tools. What’s more, these tools are constantly evolving set: they were very different a couple of years ago.
If a content discovery feature is important for what you do, consider taking a look at these types of tools, and you’ll find that, in exchange for very little effort, they provide you with more interesting content than what’s on the social networks. What other content discovery strategies do you use regularly and do you think are noteworthy?
(En español, aquí)