Cool tools: Scoop.it

scoop.it logo

What is it? 

 Scoop.it is a beta (currently invite only) website that lets you become “the curator of your favorite topic!”

What does it do?
You create a topic.  Scoop.it  searches  the web (including social media) for related news articles, blog posts, tweets, YouTube videos, etc. which you can then build–or curate–into an online collection of sources.

How/why should I use it?
Example #1:
Library instruction
1A: Evaluation
After showing students how to evaluate websites, you can walk them through how to set up a Scoop.it on their paper topic, *and* set up RSS feeds for journal and/or database articles for same.  Then they compare results  for reliability, authority, purpose, currency, and accuracy.

1b. Search types
Compare the effectiveness of Boolean and/or phrase searches with both tools (Scoop.it vs. the journal/database RSS feeds).  Which is more effective, and why? Which might be better for an academic research paper, and which might be better for gauging popular opinion or learning about pop culture?

Example #2: Self-promotion as a topic expert
Perhaps you are a job-seeker, or the owner of a small business, or part of a non-profit.  You’d like to demonstrate your expertise on a particular subject, such as Twitter for educators, and make sure that it’s branded. Create an account with a look and feel consistent with the rest of your online presence, and then create your topic.  Tweet links to the articles you’ve curated or post them on Facebook or Linked In.

Example #3:  Learn  by following others’ topics
Click on Explore to see what  other people are “scooping.” Create the Scoop.it version of RSS feeds by following topics of interest.

Screenshot of Scoop.it topics I follow
I’m following 32 topics on Scoop.it

Example #4:  Track what online friends are reading
There are other tools for this, namely Twitter and Delicious–but neither include a similar visual component.

I have 5 scoop.its right now: Academic Library Instruction, Google Plus for Info Pros, Time & Productivity, Social Media for InfoPros, and Mobile Apps.

Similar to:
A visual version of Delicious.

Pros:
Free; visually appealing; easy to use.

Cons:
Designed to work with resources on the open web, which means you need to evaluate sources for reliability.

How to get an invite:
Click on invite button on Scoop.it’s webpage, or you can do what I did—ask people on social networks if they had any to spare. :0)

Leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.

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