The media is under fire! Cries of “Fake News” are hurled at stories to cover a myriad of possibilities including completely fabricated articles, articles from opposing viewpoints and even satire.
So this seems to be the perfect time to talk about my own newspaper called the Purple Patch and confess that a little of it is fake news. But only for fun – I’m not trying to rig my local parish council election here.
Standing on the shoulders of slightly taller people
The principle is pretty simple. Most of us use multiple flavours of social feed to keep abreast of news. Some of the tweets in your feed are original content (“look at the fabulous time I’m having) and some others contain links to articles. Some of those articles are about topics I’m interested in. A few of those articles are worth sharing. So that’s what I try to do – I filter the content being shared in my network (and some content I’ve stumbled across myself) and bring it together in one place and publish it weekly. Simple.
Of course I haven’t the time to spend all day reading social media feeds, so I use a tool called Paper.li to help. I plug in the topics, profiles and lists that are likely to be sharing relevant content and the tool does the heavy lifting for me. I then spend an hour or two sifting through this content looking for the gems. I produce a shortlist and then skimread every shortlisted article. I try to remove the irrelevant content and blog-brochures, sort it into broad topic areas and publish.
Generally I’m looking for interesting B2B marketing content, articles about personal productivity and focus, and some stuff that simply made me smile (this is the Friday Fun section – and yes, some of it is fake news!)
So it’s really all about the network. Because I know a lot of people, and some of them share some interesting stuff, I can bring the best of that to your attention. I’ve been publishing the Purple Patch almost every week on a Friday. Since April 2017 I’ve published nearly 100 editions.
As I’ve explained, this is not without effort. And it takes focus to deliver consistently. So why do I do it? For me it serves several purposes.
- Laziness. I wish I could get in the habit of writing original content more often. I have dozens of blog posts that are currently no more than a headline. However curating other people’s great content takes a little less creative effort.
- Reader Feedback. Everyone is short on time. A number of my subscribers have told me that the Purple Patch has become a trusted source of content for them, and they look forward to it arriving in their inbox. I find that very motivating
- Enlightened Self-Interest. If I provide value to my readers, then I hope they will think of contacting me when they have a project they want to discuss. If they don’t, that’s fine too.
- Forces me to stay on top of the news. As a marketing consultant it’s important to stay fresh. My weekly ritual of producing the paper forces me to take my head out of my client work and see what’s going on across the industry
Should you start your own newspaper?
Before you start your own newspaper you might want to consider a couple of factors.
- Are you committed for the long haul? Delivering content regularly takes effort and commitment. I frequently get up early on Friday morning or work late on a Thursday to pull the edition together. Don’t bother starting unless you’re going to put in the sustained effort
- Beware the robot. The automatic processes behind tools like paperli are very cool but only go so far. If you publish the newspaper automatically without manually editing it you will end up with a paper of very variable quality and value.
- Lighten up. I try to put a little personality into the editorial section that my subscribers receive at the top of my newspaper, and have recently introduced a “Friday Fun” section to spread a little cheer.
If you want access to some great curated content, then visit The Purple Patch today. Let me know what you think – if you like it you can subscribe and get it sent straight to your inbox.
And if you already read it regularly – Thank You!