How I Filter The Noise, Jason Keath

with 6 Comments

How We FilterThe 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

google-friendsWithin 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.

tweetie 2nd twitter account

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.

SERIES How I Filter the Noise – Jason Keath, Taylor Davidson, Beth Harte, Hermione Way, Wayne Sutton

6 Responses

  1. Kevin

    Have you tried PostRank?

  2. Kevin

    Have you tried PostRank?

  3. jakrose

    I have Kevin. Played with it a little bit. It definitely has potential. It
    is not a core piece of my filtering strategy yet.

  4. Jason

    Not too dissimilar from my strategy… every feed goes into only five folders in Google Reader — Must Read, Read in Time, Purge if Needed, In Limbo, and Status/Personal.

    RE: GR and twitter, do you have “favorites” or “stars” tactics? I use Byline to sync GR to my iPhone, glancing at headlines and starring until I get to a PC (or reading there in cache if in place for a bit).

    I favorite twitter updates with links I might find interesting, esp in tweetie on the go (sometimes I'll save to instapaper too).

  5. jakrose

    I have used Twitter favorites from the iPhone like that. One specific way is for blog post ideas. I will favorite tweets, from myself or others, that could supply a few blog post ideas for those times when I am searching for new subject matter.

    I will definitely check out Byline. You are the second person to mention it in response to this post. Sounds good for plane rides and the like

  6. Wayne Sutton

    Your filters are very similar to mine Jason.