The Scoop.it platform has been a perpetual work in progress two years now. During that period, we’ve had lots of exciting accomplishments and releases, and it’s no secret that some features have remained hidden in the shadows.
As a part of the team working on building Scoop.it as the ultimate knowledge sharing hub, I like to think I know a thing or two about the product – and what fun is knowing things if you don’t get to share them? (hint: you can tweet your new knowledge too!)
Optimize your sources for the best suggestions!
One of the most important features that sets Scoop.it apart from the rest is the content discovery tool. In our world, this is called the Suggestion Engine. The Suggestion Engine gives you all of the content that you normally consume from around the web in a format similar to that of Google Reader (RIP) or whatever syndication tool you may use. Content discovery has never been so easy!
When you create your topic, you give us keywords. Scoop.it then use these keywords to find sources for your suggested content. Though our algorithm is pretty smart (if we do say so ourselves), if curation can’t be done with an algorithm alone, then neither can source generation.
For example, when you enter a keyword like “social media,” Scoop.it generates sources to feed your suggested content based on this word. Some of these sources might include:
– A Google search for “social media”
– A Google Blogs search for “social media”
– A Twitter search for “social media”
– A Google News search for “social media”
Your suggested content will in turn be filled with any results from these searches (along with the other ones created from your other keywords).
While robots and algorithms are great for bootstrapping, a human touch can always come in and make things more meaningful. Before you get curating, click on Suggestions, and then Manage Sources to see the sources we’ve generated for you. See something you don’t think will give you relevant content? Give the trashcan a click and be on your way.
Now, you’re ready to take it a step further. From the Manage Sources panel, click on Advanced Options. This is where it gets good. Did you know that you can add any RSS feeds or custom saved sources to your suggestions? If not, today is your lucky day!
Here’s a list of all of the custom sources you can add to your suggestion engine. Each Each of these fields represents one source that you can add, whether it be an RSS feed, a Twitter list that you follow, a Facebook page, or a saved Google search. And yes, you saw that right, you can even upload an OPML file. Once this is done, gone will be the days of navigating between blogs, searches, Google Alerts, and social networks to find all of the content you might want to read and share.
Long live the Suggestion Engine!
Do you have any suggested content best practices? Share them in the comments!