I’ve been an information junkie my entire life. I will read anything I can get my hands on. When I was a little girl I read almost all of the books in my school library, but during the summers there was a problem. We lived pretty far away from the public library. Luckily there was a bookmobile that came around, and read almost everything on that too.
I was an expert at researching the Reader’s Guide to Periodic Guide Literature (kids that’s what we used before Google). I’ve always loved to tap into whatever it took to get the scoop on a story, and to find out how something worked. I’m sure this inner librarian bug I have is why I love social media.
In this post, I’m going to explain how I curate social information using Twitter and my RSS Reader. I may update this in a few weeks once I obtain my Dell SMaC certification. From what I understand,there are some pretty cool tools to tame the social data deluge that are available once you get that certification – I’ll report on that later.
In addition to using clients that allow you to separate tweets into streams, I use lists and favorites to capture interesting nuggets of info.
Here are the Twitter directions for making lists. You only get 20 lists, and you can have up to 500 Twitter accounts on each list. I have some huge generic buckets for my lists (edupeeps, emcpeeps, storage). I have a list for my family, because their tweets get lost (and they get mad at me when I miss something). You can also follow lists that other people have created. I love following conference lists, because it gives you an organized list of people who are in the same industry, but don’t necessarily tweet about the same topics. Also, most Twitter clients allow you to access lists you have created on Twitter.
I use Twitter favorites to bookmark tweets. Most of the time I’m on my Android when I do this. I’ll see a tweet with an interesting-looking link but I don’t have time to really read the link. I’ll bookmark it, and then several times a week I go through the bookmarked tweets.
My biggest Twitter advice: don’t try to read every single tweet. You will just make yourself crazy. Create lists to organize the folks you follow. If you are new, follow lists other folks have created, you will probably make some new Twitter friends that way.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Most social content will allow you to pull the RSS feed of their content into an RSS reader. I tried to find a nice list of RSS readers, but there doesn’t seem to be one, maybe that will be a future blog post. If you want a more detailed explanation of RSS, check out this video.
I use Google Reader. I am subscribed to 276 RSS feeds. I have those organized into 29 folders. I always have more than 1000 unread blog posts. I like to browse through the reader at least once a week. I follow all sorts of feeds on topics ranging from storage, technology, our competitors, online comics, women in technology, food, autism, and general geeky goodness.
You won’t be able to keep up
Maybe the key is to managing the deluge of social information is to understand that you won’t be able to keep up. Do your best to organize the information you pull from social sources. If you are doing social for work, pay the most attention your work filters (ignore the geeky goodness if you start getting overwhelmed!). If you start pulling lots of information, be sure to set a filter for your family. And remember to leave time to be social, share some of the info you find with others and interact with the people who have shared the information with you.