Curate External Content With Pocket

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If you're looking for a quick way to curate content from external sources in your Hub, you can use Pocket to add that content to your Hub with a single click.


 

Before You Begin

  • To do the actions described in this article, you need to be an Account Admin or Content Manager.
  • You will need a Pocket account, as well as the Pocket extension for your browser.
  • Before you proceed, note that the method described in this article is applicable to a narrow set of use cases, and we do not recommend it for most users. See our explanation below for more information.

 

About Pocket

Pocket is a free tool that allows you to "clip" content like blog posts, articles, etc., and save them to your Pocket account. A Pocket account also includes an RSS feed that aggregates all the content you save, which opens up an interesting use case with Uberflip: by setting up a Blog Stream in your Hub that draws on this RSS feed, you can automatically populate the Stream with any Item you add to your Pocket account.

By doing this, you are able to quickly and easily curate a Stream of external content. Basically, whenever you see some web content you want to include in your Stream, all you have to do is click the Save to Pocket button to automatically add it to the Stream.

Before we go any further, it's very important to note that the method described in this article is not suitable for most Hubs. Before using it, please read on to understand its limitations and how this affects your Hub.

Limitations

The most effective content experiences keep visitors engaging with your content for as long as possible, which means keeping visitors in your Hub. The problem is, this method does the opposite: it creates Streams that will encourage visitors to exit your Hub.

Here's why: when you save an article to Pocket, its full contents is not included in your Pocket RSS feed. Instead, Pocket will only include a snippet of the article, along with the canonical URL for the content (i.e. a link back to the website where it originally appeared). As a result, any Item in your Hub that is created from the Pocket RSS feed will only show partial content, so visitors who want to view it in full must go the original website — taking them out of your Hub.

Should I Do This?

The most important thing to know about this method is that using it will create Streams that take visitors out of your Hub. This is an inherent aspect of the method, so you should proceed only if you accept that this will happen, and ideally want it to happen as part of your particular use case.

Since there are not many use cases where you want visitors to leave your Hub, we do not recommend this method for most Hubs. We recommend using it only if your particular use case fits these basic criteria:

  • You want to create a Stream that consists entirely of external content (i.e. content produced or owned by third parties)
  • You will routinely "curate" this Stream by adding new external content to it, and need an easy way to do this
  • You want visitors who view content in this Stream to exit your Hub and view the content in its original context

Can I use an app other than Pocket?

There are a variety of alternatives to Pocket available. The basic method described in this article should work with any similar tool that has a publicly accessible RSS feed which:

  • Is automatically updated with newly saved items
  • Includes the canonical URL of each Item's original location

You should be able to use any alternative tool that supports these features; however, in this article, we will focus specifically on Pocket.

 

Prerequisite: Get a Pocket Account & Browser Extension

Before you can proceed, you'll need a Pocket account. You can sign up for free here.

You'll also need to get the Pocket extension for your browser, which is what you'll use to save content to add it to your Stream. If you're a Firefox user, Pocket is already built in. For other browsers, you'll need to download and install an extension. You can also save to Pocket from a variety of apps other than a browser. For more information, see this page from Pocket.

Once you have signed up for and are logged in to your account, and you have the extension, you can proceed.

 

Get Your Pocket RSS Feed URL

To set up a Stream for your Pocket content in your Hub, you'll need your Pocket account's RSS feed URL. To find it, see this article from Pocket:

Pocket: Can I subscribe to my list via RSS?

Once you have located the RSS feed URL, copy it, as you'll need it for the next step.

 

Create a new Blog Stream

Now all you have to do is set up the Blog Stream that pulls content from this RSS feed. To create the new Blog Stream, simply follow the instructions in the following article (follow the steps for Import Articles from an External Blog):

Create a Blog Stream

As you set up the new Blog Stream, keep the following in mind:

  • In Step 2 of Import Articles from an External Blog, make sure you paste in the Pocket RSS feed URL that you copied earlier.
  • Under the setup options for the Stream, make sure you check the option for Allow small images to be used for thumbnails:
    Hubs___Manage_-_Uberflip.png
  • You can leave all other options unchecked.

 

Set Up Automatic Redirects

Because Pocket only saves partial content to its RSS feed, you need to set up the Stream to redirect to the original (canonical) URL whenever a visitor clicks on an Item. If you don't do this, visitors who click on an Item in the Stream will only see a snippet of the content they wanted to consume.

  1. After creating the Stream, click on Content in the left menu bar.
  2. On the right side, click on the Streams tab to view a list of all Streams in your Hub.
  3. Click on the Stream that you just created (your Pocket Stream).
  4. While viewing the Stream, click on the Options tab at the top to view Stream options.
    Hubs___Manage_-_Uberflip.png
  5. Look for the option Auto redirect to Item's Canonical URL and enable it:
    Hubs___Manage_-_Uberflip.png
  6. You can leave all other options at their defaults, or customize them as you prefer.
  7. Your Stream is now set up, and you can begin populating it with content using Pocket.

 

Populate the Stream With Pocket

To populate your Stream, simply save Items using Pocket. Anything that you save to your Pocket account will automatically be added to its RSS feed, which will bring it into the connected Stream as a new Item. To save content to your Pocket account, simply click on the Save to Pocket button in your browser, which looks like this:

What_Ice_Fishing_Taught_Me_About_ABM.png

For more information about saving to Pocket, see this article:

Pocket: How to Save

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