Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tips for Managing Information

I believe that are fortunate enough to be living at a great time in history. There are many reasons for this one of them is the fact that there is so much quality information floating around, and much of it is completely free.

One of the greatest things about the social media revolution is that smart people have begun to share what they learn with the rest of us. Years ago, they would have written books that we would have to walk or drive to a store to buy. Or we'd have to order them from Amazon and wait for them to be delivered. Now we simply sit back and read RSS feeds or tweets and it's all there for us to learn from.

The problem is that I am finding there is just too much of it for us to consume efficiently. I can't really read every great blog post as it comes up on my feed. I can't digest every landing page included in a tweet when I read that tweet. To handle it, I have developed a system and seeing as I haven't seen too many people talk about how they digest and catalog this information, I am going to share how I do it. It might not work for everyone and I am more than open to hear what other people do.

RSS Feeds
I love RSS feeds because they save me the time of going to a website to see if content is updated. I subscribe to somewhere around 30 feeds but that number rises and falls as I find new ones and ditch old ones. And I don't think that 30 is really all that many as I'm sure people subscribe over 100 of them quite easily. I use Google Reader to manage my feeds and what is great about Google Reader is that you can get lots of great iPhone apps that sync with it. I use MobileRSS on my iPhone.

When I read a great RSS post, I will mark it with a "star" so that I can come back to it for review later.

I can see that in some cases, Twitter is starting to replace RSS feeds in that people create content somewhere and then link to it on Twitter.

When I read an important or interest tweet, I will mark it as a "favorite" and come back it later.

Pulling It All Together
A few times a week, like Sundays after dinner, I will sit down and review my "starred" RSS posts and "favorite" tweets, read them over and visit the content.

I will spend time reading it over (and sometimes wonder why I liked in the first place but that's neither here nor there) and here's the important part: bookmark it.

Bookmarking is important because I need to make sure that I am developing a "library" of sorts that I can come back to. In the future if I ever need to get dirty on mobile marketing, bam - I know I have a file on it in my bookmarks.

What's Next
I am now going to start keeping my bookmarks in the cloud. Like Lando Calrissian's base, my links will be stored out in the interweb yonder so that I can access them from more places. Ultimately, I'd like to then have that sync with my mobile so them I'm really going to be off to the races as I see myself doing more and more on my iPhone.

I'll be sure to update when that happens. Until then, feel free to tell me what you are doing. Suggestions are always welcome.

1 comment:

Jackson Wightman said...

RSS is the bomb for me. I am still shocked at how few people still use it.

Re bookmarks, have you check out Instapaper? Mitch Joel is always talking about it. Useful as a bookmarking tool.