For quite a while now instead of blogging I’ve been curating something called a “Trove”. This is similar to an RSS aggregator or even along the lines of Flipboard or Zite. The difference is that I am the sole curator of this particular Trove, picking articles on a particular topic to appear in other people’s newsfeed. To include my selections, one must follow the Trove I curate.
The reason I started this is that Zite, my favorite news aggregator, announced that they were going to stop supporting the app and let it slowly and naturally die. I was greatly saddened by this because I truly enjoy Zite, but at least they made a formal announcement so I could continue to use Zite while finding a replacement. Unfortunately, no other such app satisfied my needs.
What I did do is download a free app called Trove. It can also be accessed through any regular browser and it is available at least on Google Play, Apple’s App Store, and also from Amazon for their mobile devices.
The problem with Trove was there was no good source for news about Apple, which is what I was after. The interesting thing for me was that I could, if I so chose, be a curator for something that interests me very much. Obviously I have been doing just that, and I have been doing it for the better part of last year.
For the first couple of months all I did was attach the tech blog site Macworld to my Apple Trove and just let it sit there. Over that time I accumulated a grand total of two followers. It was automatic and everything from Macworld was automatically posted there. Great stuff, some of it, but it wasn’t gaining any traction at all. One fine day I received an e-mail from the Trove people letting me know they developed a widget which I could use to post specific articles to my Trove and also offered to help me along if I needed it.
That widget was what I needed to make it work. With that widget I could find an article from anywhere, click the widget, include an introductory comment to preface the article, and then that becomes a featured article that appears at the top of my Trove and also is included in the main headline feed for anyone who follows multiple Troves. If that didn’t work, nothing would.
As I started actively curating, the followers started increasing at a very slow and steady pace, some days none at all, and some other days two or three. I think as I imposed my own rules on myself and generally got better at finding articles, things started picking up steam.
The most important thing I did was to impose standards on myself for what I would or would not include. Good things included handy tips, hardware and software reviews, and whatever I saw as a 30-year Apple user to be of basic value. Naturally the article has to be well written and entertaining to read. My rule also dictates that I find and post at least one article each and every day.
Those things I will not post are rumors about unannounced products, complicated procedures for experts only, and negative Apple articles unless they are credible and fair — my Trove’s own credibility relies on my including those. But keep in mind my aim is for Apple fans in general.
In the top picture of this article, it shows 3,022 followers. That has taken a lot of time and effort to build. (No, I am not being paid for my efforts.)
As I have my blog here an idea recently popped into my head. I could, as I see fit, write my own articles here and highlight them in my Trove. Now there’s a way to get more people coming to my blog! I do owe my followers in both places the courtesy of writing a nice piece that is of value and on topic. My blog is a grab bag of what I feel like writing at the time, but things I would attach to my Trove need to be about some aspect of Apple Computer. So if I write the occasional product review or opinion piece about Apple, you know what I’m up to.