Stay aHead: Juice, your personal content assistant
06 May 2015
A couple of months ago, I finished reading ‘What Technology Wants’ by Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor at Wired. Amongst many, many other things in book – it’s a great read – Kelly raves about humanity’s ever-growing drive to produce information, the growth of which has been spurred exponentially by technology.
Noble as this project is, I think most people would argue that there’s already too much information out there to consume and share.
This isn’t necessarily a problem. Choices, after all, are a clear sign of progress, and when it comes to information and knowledge, I’d rather have abundance than scarcity. The key is knowing how to distill what truly matters, both for us and for those who follow what we have to say.
Enter Juice, a new tool by Paper.li that wants to help you share the stories your followers will love.
It’s incredibly easy to use: simply download the app, give it access to your Twitter account, and in a matter of seconds it will analyse your Twitter followers and recommend up to ten stories it thinks they will find valuable. It even provides stats, such as ‘of interest to 42% of your followers’. The app enables you to share the stories immediately, and the process repeats itself a few hours later.
It’s an interesting proposition, especially for busy people who want to maintain an active social presence without wasting time. At the very least, you can use its algorithm to predict what your audience wants. When testing it with my own account (@restreitinho) I received articles entitled ‘Platform thinking: how to success in the internet age’ or ’10 things successful people do when things go wrong’, which I kind of understand why people who follow me would be interested in. (Whether I’d share them is another story.)
But if a digital tool can recommend stories my audience would like to read about, where does that leave the role of a community manager? Can an automated programme deliver the authenticity required to make human connections valuable, whether on social media or more traditional channels?
I believe content strategy will always rely on human judgement to have the final word, regardless of the tools to help us implement it. If an article on ‘platform thinking’ makes more sense for my brand to share than a ’top 10’ list, it’s up to me to decide which one to share, regardless of what Juice recommends. We should pay attention to our audience, but not necessarily be slaves to what it wants.
True authenticity comes from listening and understanding the underlying needs of your community and then delivering content that will solve those problems. Context and insightful commentary will go a long way toward adding value to an audience, and is still beyond the power of an app to provide this.
I’m always fascinated by new tools that allow you to connect with a community in a different way. Juice won’t replace old-fashioned common sense and a human touch, but it can be a useful aid in finding relevant content that can take your conversations further.