Some describe noise as irrelevant content in reference to a subject matter when looking at data in a particular channel. Noise can be spam. Noise can be repeat content from the echo-chamber of the world wide web. Either way, filtering the noise should be on everyone’s mind today as we’re evolving from the static web to the conversational web to the real-time in your face web.
As someone who loves technology, gadgets and information, the real-time web is a geeks’ dreamland, but it’s also a huge time waster if you don’t have filters setup. Not only do you need filters to manage information gathering and filtering information online, but you also need self control. There are plenty of tools available, but it’s how well you manage those tools to filter the noise. Below are a few of the tools that I use.
To manage my RSS feeds, I use Google Reader, just like Jason and Taylor. I’m currently subscribed to over 1600 feeds, each categorized into groups by topic. Some of my groups include WordPress, Social Media, business, mac news and mobile. My RSS feeds list continues to grow, therefore having them categorized is very important. Inside of Google Reader I have a personal star rule. I star items that I want to read later and share items that I think others will find interesting. In other words, RSS feeds are not dead, and are very important to the social web.
For social bookmarks, I use Diigo to bookmark blog posts that I may not be subscribed to, and save them to content-based groups. I have set up groups for topics like wordpress plugins and wordpress premium themes for blog posts pertaining to each.
Filtering day to day activities involves constant email management with filters I’ve created in Gmail, which need to be constantly updated. Filtering emails and setting time slots to read emails daily and weekly can increase productivity so you’re not always checking your inbox. The same rules apply to a select list of blogs that I’ve created where I “try” to read and comment on daily.
When dealing with clients and brand reputation, businesses can filter the noise depending on the customer base and engagement level. Tools like filtrbox, trendrr, blogpulse trackur and tons more can do a lot of work for you if setup and use them correctly.
Needless to say, filtering the noise is about being organized and having the right tools in place and accessible. Therefore my iPhone is always nearby, able to access almost the same content when I’m mobile. Then the challenge becomes filtering your time after you have filtered the noise. New web apps and tools are created daily, such as lazyfeed, to constantly push and gather information in front of us and filter that information will become more important as we continue to use the web as a learning and communication platform…. Good luck.