Too Much Opinion to Share

Love to give your opinion on a quote or phrase…but Twitter’s 140-character limit can be, well, limiting?

To get around this, we usually screenshot an article then tweet the photo with our comments. Twitter’s formatting, however, makes this method fairly tricky.

If you try to capture too many words in the screenshot, the margins are often cut off or the text is too small to read. So we’ve always had to compromise on either tweeting a quote, our own thoughts or both with a poorly sized photo.

Luckily in the tech world, when too many people have the same problem, someone usually comes up with a solution. So after we brought you a handful of tools to get your Twitter presence up and going in last week’s TechCorner, here are a few more to make sure you can spread the news and your own opinion on it.

  • Instapaper — This service was originally designed to counteract what we consider one of the biggest issues with getting your news from social media — the “too much” problem. Once you follow more than a few news outlets, journalists or just generally well-read friends, your timeline might start to get a little overwhelming. Much like the pile of books next to your desk that you’ve been meaning to read for months, maybe you have a running list of articles that you plan on reading later and just never get around to. Instapaper allows you to simply save articles to be read later without the ads.

One of the best parts of the app, though, is the new “Tweet Shot” feature. This aspect helps you highlight a particular quote, add your own commentary but can’t quite make it fit that 140-character limit. With Instapaper you just highlight a passage, and it will give you the option of tweeting an image of the highlighted text with a link back to the article. It frees up a little more space so you can make sure your followers see your thoughts on an exact part of the article.

  • OneShot — Developed by a former Twitter VP, OneShot is a much simpler app that basically does the job of Instapaper’s “Tweet Shot” in a more visual way. Just grab a quick screenshot of the article you’re reading and crop it to the most important section inside the app. Then you can highlight parts of the article you want people to notice — something Instapaper won’t do — and add a nice background color to make it a little more interesting. The app can then locate the URL of your article, and you can send it out to the Twittersphere with your own comments attached.
  • Print Share — This is one of KnightLab’s student prototypes, so it’s in a more rudimentary stage that’s still improving. That being said, it’s a lifesaver for those of us who still read an actual newspaper but want to keep up with all of our friends in the digital world. It’s an incredibly simple process — just snap a quick photo of the story and upload to Print Share.

The app then automatically gives you the link to the online version of the story. It’s got a few things to work on — mainly developing a mobile app and better article recognition — but now you won’t have to fear falling behind on your social media commentary just because you still like the old-fashioned feel of paper .

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