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Why @scoopit and @twylah? By @akhiluk from #toolschat

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This is not an ordinary guest post. It comes from one of the smartest, most knowledgeable and engaging teenagers I know. There is not much any of us can teach Akhil about online tools.

I hope you all get to connect with Akhil Unnikrishnan

Social Tools 101: Twylah Or Scoop.it?

Scoop.it and Twylah are two amazing social tools that are in the limelight nowadays. Almost everyone from the awesome #ToolsChat group has tried them out. If you haven’t, its high time you did.
Scoop.it is a content curation platform. Simply put, instead of creating blog posts, you can “scoop” posts from different sources, which you can specify. The tool then presents these post (or scoops) on a single page that resembles a magazine.
Twylah monitors your Twitter stream and creates a beautiful SEO-optimized page of your tweets, categorized by the topics you tweet about the most. Looking at a Twylah page gives you a clearer picture of what someone tweets about the most.

Let’s get deeper into the details of each tool.

Scoop.it

Scoop.it aims to make content curation easier for everyone. Choose a topic (one that you really like) and specify the keywords for it. The tool crawls the web for these keywords and finds matching content. You can scoop the posts you like, edit them and post it to your page. You can add your own sources, like Twitter lists, blog RSS feeds, or Google keyword searches. You can even import your Google Reader feeds.

The thing I like is that you can specify any number of sources for the service to find content from.
Multiple topics are allowed, though you’ll have to create individual pages for those. There’s also a bookmarklet which lets you scoop from anywhere on the Web. Once you’ve scooped, you can share it on your networks. Here’s a handy guide on how to integrate Scoop.it with all your networks, including your wordpress blog.

The PRO version of Scoop.it lets you share curation responsibilities with other team members. Apart from curating, you can write individual posts for your topic, if you’re feeling a bit creative.

Twylah

As I’ve already written above, Twylah reads through your stream and create a topic-based page of your tweets. It’s SEO-optimized, so integrating your page into your website, it’s a darn good thing to do. Twylah is built on the notion that, in the fast-paced Twitter world, your tweets do not get optimum exposure. With a Twylah page, you are extending the lifespan of a tweet, and getting more people to interact with it.

The most awesome feature is what is called a ‘Power Tweet’. Clicking on the link in a power tweet takes you to page, with a collection of tweets related to what you just shared. This increases engagement with your content by 40 times. As with Scoop.it, there’s a bookmarklet that lets you easily share content you find. Building your own brand is definitely easier with Twylah. Your old tweets are not lost, but are organized carefully by topics, in a manner that would make a librarian proud!

The Similarities
Both these tools increase the amount of time visitors spend interacting with your content. Topics are what drives both of these tools. Scoop.it lets you choose what topic you want. Twylah chooses them from what you tweet. When used properly, they can both be great at driving traffic to your blog.
So how are they different?

No matter how identical these tools might seem, they are very different from each other. Scoop.it is a network in itself. You have to invest time in it, like you did on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus. You have to manually add each post in Scoop.it (though it may sound like hard work, it’s pretty easy). But the end result is pretty beautiful and worth admiring. Once you’ve built a network, spreading content should be a breeze.

The amount of time you’d have to invest in Twylah is almost nil, apart from applying for an invite. Everything is done for you: topics are defines, tweets are placed, and the page is created. It’s use once, forget forever. Once you’ve understood the “power” of ‘Power Tweets”, you’ll be singing about how good this tool is. There’s very little you need to do, yet it provides tangible results, that are better than Scoop.it in some cases.

Which tool should you be using?
As Michael says, 2012 is the year of sharing. You can’t stay tied to a single network or a single tool. As new networks and tools are introduced, you have to be on your toes, or risk falling behind. This is what keeps social media fresh.If you’re interested in social media and want to form new connections, I’d suggest you to use both tools. These tools don’t belong to the same category, so a real comparison is impossible. However, both Twylah & Scoop.it will help you grow your social circles in 2012. Here’s to happy scooping and power tweeting!

Akhil

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