A topic is an automated stream of curated content collected from various sources such as News Sites, Blogs, Social & Rich Media websites.

A topic can be focused around a specific theme by combining like-minded sources and making use of optional filters to only show results that match particular keywords and phrases.

Your topics can be edited at any time so you can continue to tweak and change the theme of the content to match your changing interests!

How do I…?

Find topics I’m following
Use a topic
Create a new topic
Make changes to one of my topics
Follow other people’s topics


backstitch puts the topic selector top and center to easily switch from one topic to another.

  • Most Viewed: Sorts your topics in order by how frequently you view them.
  • A-Z: Sorts your topics by name in alphabetical order.
  • What’s New: Shows the latest content from across all of your topics.
  • Unread Count: Shows how many new items are available since the last time you visited a topic.

Tip: You can search for topics by name by typing in the the selector.


Viewing Topics

When viewing a topic you will notice three main sections; the cover, the toolbar, and the stream of curated content.

The Cover

The cover region will display the name of the topic and either an uploaded banner image, or a mosaic of pictures that has been automatically assembled from your topic’s content. This region can also be chosen to be hidden from the topic editor.

The Toolbar

Below the cover is a toolbar that offers several options to interact with your topic.

  • x followers: Displays how many people are currently following this topic.
  • Hide duplicate posts: Sometimes the exact same post will come from different sources included in a topic. By checking this box backstitch will attempt to hide any potentially duplicated items.
  • Search: Search for specific content within a topic.
  • Follow: If you are viewing a topic that you don’t already follow you can do so by clicking this button.
  • Unfollow: If you no longer want to follow this topic you can remove it from your followed list by clicking this button.
  • Edit: Make changes to this topic.
  • Share: If this is a public topic you can share it with friends.

Curated Content

The main section of every topic contains the content from its included sources after being filtered by specified keywords and phrases. The stream is sorted with the newest content at the top and infinitely scrolls back in time.

Left clicking on an item will open the full content inside of backstitch while right-clicking will enable opening its origin in a new tab or window.

There are two different themes available for viewing curated content: grid view and list view.

When you sign up for backstitch the default is set to grid view but it is easy to switch between the two. From the settings gear in the upper-right hand corner you can switch between grid and list.


How to Create a New Topic

Creating a new topic is easy!

From the navigation bar at the top of the screen click on the large + button and select “Create a new topic”.

Give your topic a name:

Adding sources

After giving your topic a name you will be able to search for the sources you want to add to your topic. You can search for names of your favorite news sites, hashtags on social media, RSS feeds, and more.

For more strategies on adding sources check out this article.

Setting filters

Filters let you reduce the content from your sources to only include content that mentions specific keywords or phrases.

For more strategies on setting filters check out this article.


How to Make Changes to a Topic

Overtime you may find that you want to include more sources or set different filters on your topic. To make changes to your topic simply click on the Edit button.

How do I change or hide the topic’s banner image?

Every topic has a banner section that you can personalize to match your interests. By default backstitch presents an automated mosaic of related images.

To upload your own image click the Upload Banner button or if you prefer to go without a banner you can check the Hide Banner box in the upper-right hand corner.

How do I include content from other sources?

When editing a topic you will see a list of its included sources in the left-side column. By clicking the + Add More button you will launch the dialog to discover and add more sources.

For more information on the ways to discover different sources of content check out this article.

How do I remove content from specific sources?

When editing your topic you will notice that each listed source has a small x icon on its upper-right hand corner. By clicking the x you will remove the source from your topic.

How do I make my topic more specific?

When editing a topic you will see a list of filters that will tailor the topic to only include content matching specific keywords and phrases.

To learn more about the different types of filters available check out this article.


Following Other People’s Topics

Other people have already created topics around their favorites interests and made them available for you to follow. The backstitch team regularly features the best in our “Discover Topics” catalog.

From the navigation bar at the top of the screen click on the large + button and select “Discover topics”.

From the “Discover Topics” catalog you will find categories of available topics as well as the ability to search for specific topics.

You can preview a topic by simply clicking anywhere on its name or image. To add it to your list of followed topics you can do so by clicking on the orange + button in the upper right-hand corner.