Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Info Curation and Aggregation Services, Tools & Apps

As citizens and learners we can develop valuable critical thinking and literacy skills as we consume media curated by other individuals as well as curate and share our own. By doing these things, we are creating the new digital newspapers of the 21st century. As educators and parents we need to become effective information curators and sharers, modeling these behaviors as we connect them with critical thinking for our children and students. Here are a few of the information curation and aggregation services I’ve heard about and/or use now.
Summify (recently acquired by Twitter)



H/T Will Richardson:

Others I use and/or know about:

Google Reader

(I use my Google Reader primarily with the Mobile RSS Free iPhone app)


Scoop It


Updates: Since I included Pintrest in this list, which really isn’t an ‘article aggregator’ per se, Tim Stahmer pointed out correctly we shouldn’t forget Delicious for social bookmarking. If we’re including Delicious we also must mention Diigo. The past few months I’ve been using ZooTool along with ifttt as an “information trap” to save bookmarks to Diigo/Delicious as well as an article sharing blog on Posterous… and periodically Tweet links as “iReading” suggestions via a special tag. For some reason in early March ZooTool stopped working for me via email, however, and I haven’t fixed this problem or found an alternative email-to-social bookmark option to replace it. I have emailed ZooTool tech support and need to follow up. I wasn’t really intending to conflate social bookmarking with article aggregation here, but it’s valuable to talk about both because they do/can have similar functions.

Lisa Hodson also suggested including Journalist Express.

What do you use to aggregate and share media? What am I missing which should be included on this list?


Sent from my iPad

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9 responses to “Info Curation and Aggregation Services, Tools & Apps”

  1. Lisa Avatar

    Journalist Express is by far my favorite source for information, and you don’t have to be a reporter to sign up for this free service.  From news wires and magazines to world news and gossip, I get it all. Plus, I can search Google, Wikipedia, and a host of other services. One of the best features, in my opinion, is the capability to add and customize a MyLinks tab to include viewing my email without leaving the service, links to my blogs and social networks, texting from the service, movie times, mapquest, airport delays, and a host of other items. Journalist Express is the perfect one-stop shop for me when I want to learn what’s going an around the world in technology, news, politics, etc. (Minoring in Journalism has it’s benefits.)

  2. Tim Stahmer Avatar
    Tim Stahmer

    I don’t know that I would include Google Reader on your list. I use Reader and it’s an essential part of my information flow but it’s not a good tool for sharing, one of the cornerstones of curation, if you use just the website.

    Google messed up that part of Reader when they limited sharing on the site to just Google+. Fortunately, the many client programs that sync with Reader have their own ability to share links. I use Reeder on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad and it more than makes up for the imposed deficiencies of the Reader website.

    One venerable tool that still belongs on your list is Delicious. Since it was saved from the bumbling clutches of Yahoo, the new developers have done a great job of restoring and extending its capabilities. The Stacks feature is comparable to with the advantage that those collections are a subset of my larger library.

  3. Tim Stahmer Avatar
    Tim Stahmer

    Yes, there are a lot of options out there. But if you are going to do a lot of writing (be it essays, long articles, blog posts, stories, notes, etc.), then you need to find something that works for you. Personally, I’ve learned to ditch the heavy word processors (like Microsoft Word and Apple’s Pages) and just go plain text – this helps me focus on the actual writing, and not worry about other unnecessary fluff and UI elements (and sometimes the most important thing you want to focus on is getting the words out). Plain text also seems to be the preferred method for most people that write for the Web.

    I have tried pretty much all of these minimalistic writing apps out there (that are universal for both iPhones and iPads), and I have a few favorites that just stick with me, and that is what my comparison is going to be based on. Of course, your view may differ, but for the sake of this article, I am going to compare my favorites, which I would consider to be some of the best writing apps you can find in the App Store.

  4. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Tim: I was REALLY bummed when the Google Reader team removed the previous “sharing” option and tried to force everyone to use Google+ to share articles. I have used a blog sidebar widget for several years to share articles. Fortunately, the API functionality in Google Reader is still there for sharing “old school” style, and a free iPhone app is available which supports it too: Mobile RSS Free:

    Good point about including Delicious. I also thought of Diigo. These are a little different since they are social bookmarking apps, but that is still a way to curate links. I’m thinking curating articles is a bit different. Of course I did include Pintrest, which isn’t for article aggregation, so I probably confused things a bit there…

  5. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    I agree minimalist apps for writing text are best. My favorite blogging app remains Mars Edit:

  6. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Awesome, thanks Lisa. I hadn’t heard of Journalist Express and will add it to the list in this post. 🙂

  7. Tim Stahmer Avatar
    Tim Stahmer

    I’m not sure how my “comment” got here. It’s annotation for the last URL I added to my Delicious feed, clipped from the article. In all fairness, those are the words of the writer at App Advice and not mine.

    And I agree completely with the Mars Edit recommendation. I’ve been using it to post to my blog for more than five years, as well as building the conference/workshop pages for the other side of my site.

  8. Cindy Geddes Avatar
    Cindy Geddes

    Zite is one of my favorite. It becomes “smarter” as you let it know what topics you want to see more of and it is very easy to share.