How food and ag organizations can use Scoop.it to create networks and harness knowledge – Part 2

UPDATE: Less than 24 hours after I drafted this, Scoop-it announced the move from beta to public release.

* * * * *

I hope I’ll be forgiven for how long it has taken me to write Part 2 of this article. I know, I know, everyone says they’re really busy.  But I have been, including getting married! (Which will be another blog post). So forgive me. Now on to the second part of my two-part series on using Scoop-it.

1. The first thing you need to do is to create an account. You have to request an invitation since Scoop-it is still in beta. Or contact me. I still have 9 invitations that I’m happy to share. I’ll need your e-mail address, so drop me a line via DM on Twitter, LinkedIn or at one of the other options listed at http://ksukalac.posterous.com/pages/about-kristen-sukalac.

2. The next thing on your to-do list is to create a topic.  Each topic has a title and a subtitle. Ideally, the subtitle should be a short explanation of what the topic is all about (which will help people make useful suggestions). I tend to like when the main title is short and compelling (not boring)…but not so obscure as to leave me clueless to the general theme. You can create more than one topic; it’s quite easy to manage several topics.

3. Take some time in the beginning to go looking for some content to seed your topic.  This will attract readers and help the automatic suggestion algorithm suggest items of interest.

4. Install the Scoop.it! plug-in if one exists for your browser

Scoop_plugin

Once it’s installed, the plug-in shows up as a button at the top of the screen (or down the side, depending on your browser’s options). A simple click opens a dialogue box, which allows you to choose the topic you want to post to, select the thumbnail (if there are several pictures on the site you’re posting), and write a short description of the site and why you think it’s interesting.

5. This short description is your opportunity to explain the relevance of the post and add your analysis. I try to thank anyone who helped me find the content too.

6. When you are on the Scoop-it site, click on the Curate button at the top of the screen to see the suggestions for your topic. These may be suggestions from readers or automatic suggestions from the algorithm. If you find something on topic, click on the Sccop.it! button to add it to your topic. Hitting the red Discard button deletes the article. If you are receiving spam or other garbage from a site, you can also hit the Remove Source button.

Switching from one of your topics to another is very easy, just click on the green arrow button at the top right-hand side of your screen to see a list of all your topics.

7. When you hit the Scoop.it! button, the same dialogue box opens up that is shown above.

8. To extend the reach of your Scoop.it posts, link your account to your Twitter and other social media accounts. You can then automatically send tweets infofrming your followers of your Scoop.it posts. Scoop.it will suggest text based on your post title, but you can modify the text before the tweet is sent.

9. The Scoop.it dialogue box also allows you to easily suggest content for any of the other Scoop-it topics you follow.

10. The Dashboard gives you a few recent headlines, info on what’s trending and some tracking statistics for your account.

11. The Explore button allows you to see an overview of all the topics you follow and lets you do keyword searches.

And that’s it. I find that I get more out of Scoop-it when I read the daily digests that arrive in my inbox and when I spend a little bit of time every day reviewing the suggestions and the topics I follow. Since I wrote Part 1 of this post 2 months ago, the number of topics on agriuclture has doubled to 50 and the number of food-related topics has increased from 188 to 310! I’ve got my work cut out for me reviewing the new themes!

I’d love to hear your experiences using Scoop.it and any useful tips others discover.

 

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