Back in the day companies paid agencies to clip newspaper stories about them, or their rivals. When I started working as a journalist, those clipping agencies would buy dozens of newspapers, paste clips to plain white pages, let them dry and mail them out the old-fashioned way.
I still remember getting black inky hands from handling clips.
Later they used photocopies. The last time I saw material from a clipping agency, the material was scanned and distributed electronically as PDFs.
ClipSmart, from Auckland software start-up Cliptec, does much the same thing using an iPad app to deliver the clips. Nobody needs to cut and paste: the app is a specialist search engine which trawls through dozens, maybe hundreds of newsfeeds pulling out stories based on keywords. ClipSmart is not entirely robotic, Cliptec uses analysts or editors to check content before it goes out.
Clipsmart is fast, efficient and depending on your iPad hygiene, not the least bit messy.
Phil Smith who, in effect is Cliptec, says his service is for reputation concious organisations. It allows them to monitor news and business sites as well as influential consumer generated content. Presumably PR companies, social media specialists and their ilk will use it too.
One ClipSmart feature you’d never have seen in the cut and paste days is the ability to tweet links to favourable stories. Presumably black hat PR types will also be able to tweet negative material about their competitors.
The ClipSmart iPad app is free. You can download it from the Apple Store to look before deciding whether to pay a monthly access fee.