How Do You Follow?
I am a firehose of data. I'm part of that 1% of people who really chews up a high volume of information and spits it back out in various ways. If you have people like me in your network, you can use them to your advantage. We, the influencer-types can be meta-filter for your information on very specific subjects if you know how to tune-in.
Today's tools are changing. What used to be powerful and widely used, RSS, is nearly dead. The new broadcast channel appears to be Twitter and Facebook. And then we have the semi-intelligent auto-curated systems like paper.li and the broadcasting features within Flipboard.
How do you follow?
I don't know when I last looked at an RSS reader. I still use the occasionally, but the format is almost archaic in the new social frontier of data. So how do you track critical-path subjects? What sites do you use to keep up with the news and opinions that influence your daily process?
- I like Twitter a lot for building a firehose of information.
- I use Facebook and Facebook groups as a way to gather and share different types of information.
- Netvibes has a nice dashboarding function. (works a bit like the defunct iGoogle pages)
- I subscribe to a *few* email blasts.
- I check-in with LinkedIn about three times a day to see what my network is putting out.
- And I'm a periodic browser of the NYTimes, Huffington Post, Mashable, TNW, and Hubspot.
But where the fun happens, in my opinion, is how I repackage and push that information back out. I think this is where I'm a little different: a bit like a meta-filter.
Blogging. Of course I build my major threads of login here on uber.la where I can stretch out my words, provide links and references. And if I do my job right, I'll gain your follow, subscribe, or random check-in.
Facebook. I manage about 6 Facebook pages of information. Each one has its own set of subscribers. And while Facebook does an awful job of spreading that information to everyone, I *can* pay $5 from time to time when I hit one out of the park, and really want my group to at least see the article.
Twitter. This is my firehouse back out. I have 3 main twitter accounts. @jmacofearth (social media, marketing, random music and humor memes); @thewholeparent (single parenting and positive divorce); @fitbytech (my personal fitness and health journey). And I do my best to keep the three streams pure and un-crossed.
LinkedIn. I occasionally repurpose a long-form piece using LinkedIn's publishing platform, but I'm seeing diminishing returns on that channel. So I visit LinkedIn to see what *my* influencers are shouting about. I reshare the best of their posts to give their networks a little boost. And I will post one or two uber.la posts a day, just to keep my stream fresh.
I'm not current using all of them, but there are a few interesting follow-all type of services that notify me when someone "subscribes" to me.
- Storify seems to be the rising champ in this category. Where people can use one source to get 90% of my output across all channels.
- Buffer is a scheduling app. Like something Buffer-it out to your network.
- News360 seems to be the better stream/rss organizer these days. (StumbleUpon seems to have collapsed.)
- Tweetdeck allows me to filter, search, and recall everything I'm interested in on Twitter.
- Metafilter, Reddit, Quora – networks of links and interest groups (these are the new newsgroups)
I still miss FriendFeed. I think someone needs to step up to the plate and build the ultra-follow app/service for the 2.o social world.
Tune-in to your influencer networks. Find out what your peers and mentors are tweeting or posting about. A good meta-filter or two keep me in the loop with 10X the information I could filter by myself. And the altered perspective often wakes me up to angles and ideas I had not considered.
Use your network. Listen. Enjoy. Rebroadcast what you like.
A few of the networks you will find me on:
- linkedin – the professional networking and contacts social site
- twitter – the firehose of sharing (mostly social media, funny, and odd political)
- facebook – recently launched uber.la facebook page
- google+ – gathering all that's googled in one place
- delicious – cataloging and mapping the web since 2006 (my ultra-tag cloud)
- pinterest – what started as fashion sharing is rapidly becoming the visual delicious
- my Amazon Author's Page: John Oakley McElhenney
- my about.me/jmacofearth page < way more connections then you'll ever need about me