I read constantly. News websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. When it comes to the social web, I realize that I can'y catch everything, yet it's my job to keep on top of the trends, news, new services, apps, etc. Some ask, "How the heck do you keep up with it all?"
The answer is simplicity.
I keep things simple because there are many ways you can slice and dice what's important to you in terms of content. There's content that's important to you personally as well as professionally. And as many of you know, there's LOADS of it.
So how do I keep things simple and keep it organized?
Well, I first break down content into three categories:
As you can see, my categories are Good to Read, Should Read and Have to Read. Each group consists of blogs, news sites, Twitter users, Facebook pages, YouTube channels. And, in terms of content focus, it ranges from social media services, thought leaders, journalism news, general news, local news, business blogs, technology stuff, PR, etc.
Good to Read: This content is stuff that would be beneficial to me to read, but not absolutely critical if it sits for a few days or even a week or so.
Should Read: This content is stuff that I should read sooner rather than later because I can benefit from it in some way, either personally or professionally.
Have to Read: This content is stuff that I have to keep up on because it helps me stay on the bubble of a variety of trends and frankly, helps me with my own thought leadership strategy, business, home-life, etc.
Now that we have all that straightened out, the question still remains: How do you keep it organized?
A simple answer is RSS and of course, with the help of some handy dandy tools:
- Google Reader: It starts here for me. GR can grab all content with an RSS feed and pulls it into one place for me.
- RSS Readers: I like two applications to help me manage my content: Reeder and Feedly. Reeder for Mac has a desktop application as well as an app for the iPhone. Feedly is a browser-based RSS reader and provides more of a newspaper feel to the content, which is good change from the more traditional layout of Reeder. There's also an iPhone app for Feedly.
- Content Aggregators: Pulse News, Flipboard and Early Edition are three other apps I'll use from time to time on my iPad, mostly to switch up the monotony of using Reeder and Feedly.
- Real-time Capture: Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are my two favorite apps to keep up with the 24/7 content cycle that is driven by the social web. I can keep tabs on client Facebook pages, my own pages, my Twitter stream, LinkedIn updates, Foursquare check-ins, etc.
Now, I'm sure some of you out there have much better ways of organizing your social content. This just works for me and keeps things pretty simple. But, I'm open to hearing about other apps, techniques, etc. Share away in the comments below.