The vast amounts of information available online for any subject can get overwhelming quickly. As a self confessed news junkie, I dive in every day and devour massive amounts of news. Still, it becomes daunting.
We all cobble together our own method of sorting and filtering through the noise.
The “How I Filter The Noise” guest blog post series will is meant to be an insight with a few examples of how people find their way through such a wild web of content. Hopefully we can all learn a little bit. Thanks to the half dozen guest bloggers that will be joining me in sharing their filter strategies over the next week or two. Look for their posts soon.
I Stopped Tracking EVERYTHING
My Google Reader, a key to almost all filtering strategies, use to be full of Mashable, TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, and several other massive tech and social media blogs. Each of these blogs ramp up a dozen or two posts a day. At one point I was trying to skim through hundreds of blog posts and news articles each day. Trying to take in this amount of information was impossible. All I ended up doing is making it more difficult to find the news I cared the most about.
My middle ground was only subscribing to about 6 of the 30-40 bloggers that write for these sites – The ones who I thought touched on the most relevant information for me. This was a large improvement but still did not give me the relevance I was seeking.
I Steal My Reading List from Friends
Within Google Reader, you subscribe to articles that your friends share, as opposed to standard RSS feeds. I have been using this feature more and more recently and find it does wonders for screening quality content. I am more or less stealing the reading lists of my friends.
Not all my friends use this feature and not all of the ones that do share things I care about. But I have focused on about a dozen folks who share great stuff almost daily, but not so much content that it overwhelms me.
I Focus With A Second Twitter Account
Yes I follow somewhere near 30 thousand people on Twitter, and no I do not listen to all of them. I, of course, filter.
My main filter on Twitter is a second personal Twitter account where I follow about 150 people.
The second Twitter account is what I use to listen to the people I most care about. It is comprised of designers, social media thought leaders, friends, and people in my home town of Charlotte. It is my go to pulse for the internet. I use Tweetie on the iPhone and Tweetdeck on my desktop to easily listen from this second account, while still being able to reply from my main, public Twitter account, @jakrose.
I Find The Highlights
For technology I use Techmeme. They rarely miss a big tech story and usually have it hours or days before any other news outlet. Tweetmeme is fast becoming a good solution for this too. For politics I browse Politico. For any other subject I either check Digg‘s specific categories or Twitter Search.
That is it. Find valuable friends on Google Reader. Use a focused second Twitter account. And find a way to catch the highlights.