Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Summify Tips’ Category

#SummifyTip: Modifying Summary Sources and Saying “Thanks”

Every story that arrives in your summary comes from your social networks, shared by a human much like yourself. Summify assumes that popular stories being shared by those you follow, are likely to be of interest to you, but that’s not always the case. Just like humans, algorithms aren’t perfect. The solution: tweak your sources and spread content you love.
 

Filter out contributors you don’t enjoy

There are two options here. We recommend trying the first, before making any permanent changes to who you follow on Twitter.

1) Filter domains or human contributors from appearing in future summaries. No change is permanent. Any filters you create will be added to the Filters section of your settings, which can be undone at anytime. Filters are completely private and nobody will ever know if you’ve filtered them out from your summaries.

2) Radically clean your Twitter follow list using iunfollow or more selectively with socialbro. This is a tip from @boichot. Check out our recent Summify Spotlight with him for more tips and tools that will improve your Twitter work-flow.
 

Like a story? Let contributors know. Nothing says “thank-you” better than sharing.

1) Share, Retweet, and Like stories – sharing content that you really like with the world is the best way to show the original author or person who shared it that it’s valued. This will likely lead them to share similar types of content that you will also enjoy. Social signals such as the number of shares, likes, and retweets are a major part of how Summify populates your summaries, so spread the love and share what you like, so that other’s can enjoy it too!

2) Automatically share your summaries to Twitter and Facebook – this is an easy way to share your summaries with your followers each day. To try it out, go to your Sharing settings and select which network you’d like to share to under “Promote.” There are also options for customizing your auto-share message and excluding mentions for contributors.

Note: You can also automatically post your summaries to a Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Instapaper, Read it Later, or Readability using ifttt – a fantastic third party service!

3) After reading your summary, line-up your favorite stories to be shared throughout the day with Buffer. Check out this popular post on how to pair Buffer with Summify – it will change your 2012 social media life – How To Be Awesome On Social Media In 20 Minutes A Day.

Along with the tips above, there’s one more simple thing that will help you improve your summaries.

Summify is designed to handle massive amounts of incoming content and your summaries will tend to get better as you connect more accounts. Haven’t done so already? Give it a try and experience the difference.

Note: you can connect more than one account for each of Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader.

Are you using any of the above methods to enhance your summaries? Maybe you have a tip or two of your own. Share what’s working for you in the comments below.

#SummifyTip: Adjust the Frequency, Timing and Number of Stories for Your Summaries

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard just how much content is being shared and consumed out there. So here’s the big question: why are you consuming all this media and content, you must have a reason, right? Clearly define what you want to achieve out of reading the news. Have a goal. Limiting yourself to what’s important at the moment is key. It’s easy to get caught up reading stacks of information that you won’t immediately use, with your knowledge of it disappearing in a tenth the time it took to consume it – not so productive.

Once you know what you want to read, make a habit of constraining means. It’s easy to go bananas, reading everything you can get your hands on and more. Make sure you’re not being wasteful of your two biggest resources: time and mental sanity. Set constraints to minimize waste and focus your energy on reading what really matters.
 

Adjust the frequency, timing and number of stories for your summaries

Most people could afford to read less when it comes to their news and that’s why we’ve purposely set a minimalist delivery schedule: 1 summary a day with your top 5 stories. If you find that this lean reading list doesn’t quite suit you, you can tweak the following settings:

 

Create it at…

Set a base-time that you’re summaries will be generated at each day – we suggest first thing in the morning. If you choose to receive more than one summary per day, this base time is the jumping off point for your delivery schedule.

 

Want more? Increase story quantity or summary frequency

The default is to receive one summary a day with 5 stories. We recommend starting here and then experimenting if you want more, first by increasing the number of stories in each summary, between 5-15, and then increasing the frequency of your summaries, 1-4 per day. Sometimes summaries will be great and at times they could be better. An alternative to a fixed increase in your summary frequency is to click the on-demand “Get A New Summary” button at the bottom of your email summary whenever you feel like reading more – careful, it’s a slippery slope!

 

Finding the right combination

Depending on your news reading habits and needs, certain delivery combos might work better for personal vs. work use, however we always recommend starting with less and going from there. Do you have a combo that works especially well for you? Share it below.

Cook Up Your Productivity: Auto-Pilot Daily Internet Tasks With ifttt

We all have our own routine tasks, often daily, that can take up a considerable amount of our time and usually tend to be quite boring or are difficult to stay on top of. We dream of the day a handy personal assistant or even a well-trained chimpanzee, depending on the task simplicity, could punch the keyboard at 100 strokes a second to take care of it all for us. Day dream no more, ifttt is here to put the internet to work for you.
 

What’s ifttt (if this then that)?

Using a simple trigger and action format, ifttt allows you to connect any two web services together to perform tasks on auto-pilot. For example, add a photo to Instagram and have it uploaded into a Facebook album, automatically. You create a trigger (Instagram) which causes an action (Facebook). The combinations you can create are only limited to your imagination and the channels – the web services and devices you use every day – that are on ifttt.


Take a look through the ifttt channels to see the web applications you can use to create triggers and actions. A trigger + action = task, and you can create your own recipes (task formulas) to share with your friends or community.
 

ifttt recipes for Summify

Share summaries direct to your Facebook Page, instead of your personal profile (not yet possible within Summify itself), and customize the message!

Automatically save your articles for later reading:


 

Some other popular recipes involving:

Twitter
Facebook
Google Reader
Read it Later
Instapaper

Take a look at your work-flow and let your imagination loose to see what combinations you can come up with. Can you think of some other helpful tasks that would help you with your Summifying? Create a new recipe on ifttt and let us know below.

How To Be Awesome On Social Media In 20 Minutes A Day

This is a guest post by Leo Widrich, co-founder of Buffer. More about him at the bottom of this post.

As sharing is predicted to absolutely explode in the coming 2012 year, many smart people have predicted a “Shareapocalypse”. Or to speak with the words of Nova Spivack, who says:

“In the Sharepocalypse hundreds (if not thousands) of online friends share content with us across various social networks, culminating in massive information overload.”

So how can we best battle this information overload out there? With a few awesome tools, I believe it can be done. A lot of great apps have emerged to organize, consume and share your content much more efficiently than before.

Here are my top pointers for you to make the most of Social Media in just 20 minutes a day:
 

5 minutes: Find the best content from your Social Networks

If you really don’t want to spend any more than 5 minutes per day to get the best content from around the web, Summify is your top tool. It pulls in all the content from your Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader stream. It then passes it through their smart algorithm and comes up with the best stories based on your reading habits.

Through this, you will always be kept up to date and get your daily dose of news straight to your inbox. With the new “on demand” stories button, you can even choose to get another summary of news, if the one you received isn’t quite right for you.

Timing: Personally I love doing this early in the morning, just when I get up.


 

5 minutes: Share the best content more effectively on Twitter and Facebook

Now, the worst thing that could happen, is if I were to take 5 minutes to read my great Summify summary, and then blast all the top stories out to my followers, 5 at once and flood my stream. If you still want to keep your day productive, spending as little time as possible, there are a lot of smart ways to make sharing easier for yourself.

What I like to do once I have received my social summary, is to drop those awesome articles into my Buffer. Buffer will then go ahead and post them for me at the best times to Facebook or Twitter, well spaced out over the day, and my followers will receive the updates, one at a time, easy to digest.

Timing: Filling up my Buffer with Summify stories happens early in the morning too, just after I finish reading my summary.


 

10 minutes: Engage, comment, like, retweet and reply

The last 10 minutes, which I normally spend in the evening, after a lot of my content has been posted and got responses, I spend engaging with my followers. It is often hard to do this in a focused way, as engaging normally happens very impulsively.

So here are a few things that I do to stay focused and get more out of my time engaging with friends and followers:

  • • Reply individually to your new followers, by looking at their bio and finding something you really appreciate about what they do.
  • • Pick out 3 Facebook stories, like them and comment with a sign of appreciation.
  • • Answer a question someone asked in your Twitter stream, or try pointing them to someone who could possibly help.
  • • Browse your stream or Twitter lists and add whatever you find interesting as retweets into your Buffer. The Twitter.com integration of Buffer makes this super easy.

Timing: I normally do this in the late afternoon, early evening. It is a great task to relax and normally a lot of fun.


 

Your results

If you try out this technique by just spending 20 minutes a day, you will be amazed, by how much can achieve. Doing this, has helped me increase my click rate on Tweets tremendously. Being focused when you engage also has helped me to grow my network a lot faster than I had anticipated.

Combining Summify and Buffer, will give you a Social Media power combination of sharing and finding the best content you can possibly find – in the least amount of time spent.

To track your progress, simply take a peak at your Buffer analytics. It will show you how many clicks, retweets and the reach your posts have gotten. And especially if you are swapping to Buffer to share Summify stories from now onwards, I am sure you will see a jump in mentions, replies and retweets.

Personally, after I have been a lot more focused and a lot more positive with my commenting, retweeting and replying, I saw lots of improvement on both my follower count and click rate.

Over to you now. Do you think trying this 20 minute technique for 1 week could make a difference to your Social Media results?

 
About the Author:

Leo Widrich is co-founder of Buffer, keeping the community alive and buzzing by blogging fabulous Twitter tips on the Buffer blog. He loves writing and football and he’s a super helpful guy, so do say hello! You can catch him on Twitter at @LeoWid.

Sharing on #Summify Gets Easier With New Like and Share Buttons

We’re fans of simplicity and sometimes we should take our own advice – KISS – keep it simple Summify. In this spirit, we’ve made liking and sharing stories from your summaries easier for you – no more clicking multiple buttons to share to multiple networks from your email or the web (like you guys actually did that anyway – we wouldn’t have). Here’s a quick look at the changes we made.

Before and After: Summify’s Like and Share Button Enhancements

Email and RSS Before

The presentation of your summary in email and RSS (e.g. Google Reader) are very similar so we’ve grouped them together here.

No like button existed and there were separate buttons for sharing to Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader – talk about clickphobia.

Email and RSS Now

You’ll now see a Like button and just one super Share button, allowing for universal sharing from one spot.

Web Before

The Like button was only visible when you hovered your mouse on a story title and there were separate share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, email and Instapaper.

Web Now

The Like button is always visible and can be found under each story with it’s hearty new look. All previous share buttons have been consolidated into one super Share button.

The Share Bar, which you see when reading a story on the web, also showcases the Like button’s lovely new look.

So what happens when I click…?

Clicking the Like button helps teach Summify what you enjoy reading, and you will also Like the story on Facebook if one of the story’s sources was a Facebook user.

Clicking the Share button, regardless of where you find it, will bring up a universal share box for all of your networks.

Web

Email and RSS

Mobile – share from email

What more could you possibly ask for? Yeah yeah we know, Google+!

“I heard Google released the API, so why are you Summify slugs taking so long?!” Nobody actually said that to us, but it might be what you’re thinking, so here’s an update. The Google+ API is currently read-only, so at the moment we can only get the public activity of one of your friends when what we really need is all the activity of all of your friends. On top of that, we’re unable to share content to Google+ yet. Rest assured, when Google+ is ready to be added to the Summify experience, you’ll be the first to know. For now, enjoy the new buttons and expect to see an iPhone update coming up in October!

New Options For Sharing: Limiting Mentions and Customizing Auto-Publish Messages

Everyone has their own way they like to do things and that doesn’t stop when it comes to the social web. Summifyers of all sorts fancy the ability to automatically publish their new summaries to Twitter or Facebook, making sharing easier than ever, but this feature isn’t quite right for everyone. In an effort to accommodate the differing preferences of Summifyers, we’ve adjusted how we use mentions and given you the ability to customize auto-publish messages, improving the Summify experience for everyone.

Twitter Mentions are now limited

You may have noticed Twitter messages promoting a user’s summary and thanking those who have contributed to it:

“Summify iPhone Update 1.1″ and other stories in my summary http://smf.is/6qloN (via @mirceapasoi and @cgst)

These mentions are enjoyed by most Summifyers, but every now and again we get a request to stop someone’s mentions, and that’s fair enough, because if you have a large following you’re bound to see a few of these shout-outs. To find a balance, we’ve now limited mentions to once-a-day per user. Note – we cannot stop anyone from manually mentioning your name when they share on twitter.

If you still find yourself feeling that once a day is too much, simply log in to the Twitter account for which you’d like your mentions stopped and tweet “@SummaryMentions stop mentions”.

Customizing auto-publish messages

At the bottom of the Notifications area you’ll now see a text box which previews your auto-publish messages. As you adjust your settings, you will notice the message changing to reflect them. Click the refresh button in the top right hand corner of the text box to cycle through some sample messages.

You have two options here:

1. Use one of Summify’s stock messages and choose to mention people or not:

Unchecked box (default) – auto-publish messages may mention the names of your summary’s contributors

Checked box – auto-publish messages will not mention any names besides @summify

2. Customize your message by clicking the box that says “Let me choose my own message” and filling in the text box. Once you’ve entered some text, click outside of the box to see a preview of your message.

Stories are meant to be shared. Play around with the new options and find a setup that works best for your sharing style. If you find a favorite way to share your summaries using the new settings let us know – we’d love to hear about it. Summify is for you after all, so don’t be shy to share your experiences, ideas, questions, problems or praise. Drop us a line anytime!

Getting the Most from #Summify: How to Make Your Summary Better

Most aspects of our lives could benefit from a little clean-up and our content consumption is no exception. Summify filters through heaps of incoming content and helps you consume only the most relevant stories, reducing your stress and increasing your productivity. We have some helpful tips on how to make your summaries even better, but before jumping in to that, take a quick look at our post on How Summify Works for some helpful background.

When piecing together your summaries, Summify considers links from everyone you follow and all of your RSS feeds. Do you really want all of these sources influencing your summary? Maybe not. Here are some helpful ideas on how to manage influencers and maximize your summary’s usefulness.

Optimizing your accounts

The more accounts you connect, the better your summaries will be.

Twitter

1. Clean up your account – only follow people that you’re actually interested in. You can put other users, who you don’t want news from, into Twitter lists. This allows you to receive news from those you follow, while keeping an eye on other useful people. If you’re unsure if you want to follow someone, create a list and name it “new people.” If you like what they share after a couple days, follow them, if not, they’re out!

2. Find interesting people to follow using http://twitter.com/who_to_follow

Suggestions – Twitter accounts suggested for you based on who you follow and more.

Browse Interests – select the topics you are interested in. Browse the list of people and find a few new people you want to hear from.

Find Friends – search through the other services you are using to find your friends who are on Twitter. Look through your Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN, AOL and LinkedIn accounts.

Influencers of influencers – who comes to mind as one of the most interesting people you follow? Find your favorite people and look at who they follow; it’s a great way to expand your network and find new people who share similar interests.

Facebook

Since Facebook is used more for casual socializing amongst friends than Twitter is, there is a serendipity in the way our conversations occur, especially between people we don’t interact with all the time. For this reason, we don’t suggest a major cleansing of your “friends” list, unless however, you’re one of those people who adds everyone under the sun. Instead of deleting any friends, our suggestion is to discover pages you like and add them to your News Feed.

Discover Facebook Pages allows you to explore pages you might enjoy. Browse by category, see your current page invites, and see which friends like similar pages to you. Click like on any page to receive updates in your News Feed.

Google Reader

Google Reader shows you all of your favorite sites in one convenient place. It’s like a personalized inbox for the entire web. Watch this one minute video to better understand Google Reader and how to add subscriptions to your account. Now that you’ve been acquainted, you can get started by adding subscriptions from your favorite websites. Not sure where to start? Browse and Search some feed bundles here.

Using Google Reader with Summify allows you to customize which feeds you want considered for your summaries.

1. Connect your Google Reader account by clicking the “g connect” button in your settings

2. Once connected, all of your Google Reader feeds will be imported into Summify. Go to Feed Settings and manually X any feeds you don’t want considered for your summary.

Note: Your Google Reader account does not synch automatically. If you add feeds to your Google Reader and want them considered in your summary you must re-connect your account in Account Settings by re-clicking the “g connect” button. Likewise, if you delete a feed in Google Reader it is not automatically deleted from your Summify feeds. If you would like to delete a feed, you must do so manually in the Feeds area of your settings.

I use a feed reader other than Google Reader

No problem! Import an OPML file to populate your Summify feeds. An OPML file is package of feeds that you can grab from your other feed reader. The button to import an OPML file is in the Feeds area of your settings.

Filters: domains and users

If you realize that a certain domain contributor is responsible for uninteresting stories in your Summary just X them out. In your web summary, hover your mouse on top of the story’s domain source and click the X to filter it out from future summaries. Likewise, hover your mouse on top of any one of a story’s contributors and click the X to filter out their influence from future summaries. You can always undo these actions in the Filters area of your Settings. Your filtering actions are completely private and nobody will ever know when you’ve eliminated them from your summary.


Like button

Using the Like button is a strong positive signal which helps your summary recipe understand what you enjoy reading. There is also another direct benefit to the Like button; when clicked, you “Like” the link on Facebook as well. Give it a try. You can find the Like button in your web summary, when you hover your mouse on a story headline; and on the share bar beside the share button, once you’ve clicked through to read a story.


Summary

Frequency – adjust how often your summaries are generated and how many stories each contains. Increasing your summary’s frequency or number of stories forces Summify to pull more content from your network. This can lead to a broader range of sources appearing in your summary, but only if you follow a significant number of sources on Twitter, Facebook or Google Reader; otherwise your summaries may feel thin. Our recommendation is to keep your summary schedule on the lighter side, to ensure quality. The default schedule is five stories, once per day.

Privacy – we recommend leaving your summary public, as it is by default. Public summaries are better for everyone, enabling others to explore your summaries, and allowing you to discover the summaries of people you know and others you don’t. Here are a few samples:

Kevin Rose – founder of Digg.com
Jay Baer – author of the Convince & Convert blog and co-author of The Now Revolution
Liz Gannes – covers the social web for AllthingsD.com
Jodi Ettenberg – world traveler, former lawyer, legalnomads.com
Emily Leary – communications consultant and blogger, co-founder of #CommsChat
Zee Kane – editor-in-chief of The Next Web

We will continue working hard to send you top notch summaries, but despite our hard work there’s no way we can know you as good as you know yourself. Try out some of the tips we’ve provided you with and fine-tune your summaries to make them that much better.

Everyone uses Summify a little bit differently and we’re sure that many of you have discovered your own nifty ways of enhancing your summaries. Do you have a tip or creative idea on how other Summifyers can get the most out of their summaries? Please share them in the comments section or feel free to pass them on to us at team@summify.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 87 other followers