Updated: December 9, 2015
In 2014, Flipboard acquired Zite (which was officially shut down on Pearl Harbor Day – December 7th, 2015. The update is really simple – with the exception of the paragraph on “What is Zite” you could basically replace Zite with Flipboard.
Note: This is a follow-up to the blog post “4 Steps to Killer Twitter Automation” – where I discussed how to execute your content strategy by setting up a semi-automatic way to keep your hopper full of meaningful, relevant tweets.
Scouring the Internet for quality content that will appeal to your audience and raise their opinion of your thought leadership can take a ton of time and creativity (coming up with Google searches that will bear fruit). It is a critical component of your content strategy, and Zite significantly reduces the burden.
What is Zite?
Zite was launched in March of 2011. On March 9th of 2011, Courtney Boyd Myers wrote this about Zite “a brand new, free personalized iPad magazine that gets “smarter” as you use it. Reading news on Zite is a pleasure as you no longer have to go back and forth between information silos. Sign-in with your Twitter or Google account and it immediately starts generating targeted content. You can also choose from thousands of topics like journalism, the singularity or vegetarianism to customize the magazine.”
I began using Zite upon launch. Within a month, it had become the best magazine I had ever read. This is because I could tailor it to my topical preferences, and for each topic – I could adjust the level of sophistication. This is done by providing feedback to the application. At the bottom of every article, you have the ability to click a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” icon. This trains Zite to find more of what you think is good, and it works! Additionally, if you click “thumbs up”, you’ll have an opportunity to indicate if you like the sub-topic, author and the publication as well – this will broaden the scope for Zite – bringing you more articles from potentially trustworthy sources.
How to Use Zite to Curate Content
What makes Zite powerful for those of us looking to add curated articles to our content strategy – is the functionality to save to Instapaper. The intended use of Instapaper is to store articles that you’d like to read, but don’t currently have the time. As you know from reading the blog post mentioned in the note above, we use it to create topical triggers that place the right content (Title and URL) with a topically relevant and popular hashtag into your Buffer account (Buffer handles the scheduling of social posts – spreading them out over time).So, when you’re taking a 10 minute break to scan content brought to you by Zite (on your smartphone or tablet) – everything that catches your eye as reasonably good can be instantly saved to Instapaper. Later, when you have more time – determine whether each article you’ve found would be a good fit for your audience. For those that pass, move them into the queue for publication on Twitter or any other Buffer compatible social medium (Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ or Pinterest). Remember, this activity is important for attracting the attention of the influencers in your market (read “The Secret Art of Attracting Twitter Influencers“).
What if I Don’t Like Zite’s Content
You can always delete topics or add new ones. If you religiously evaluate each and every piece you read, I guarantee Zite will deliver significantly better content over the course of a few weeks to a month. I use it to source as many as 120 quality articles for curation everyday. And that is just to feed the requirements of the Aidan Taylor content strategy. My team does it on behalf of our clients. We’ve also trained our clients to participate as well – enabling us to keep the volume of relevant information for each Twitter account high with a superior signal to noise ratio.