Unmanageable. That’s the word that comes to mind when you think about the volume of information flowing 24/7 at break-neck speeds every day. Your customers, competitors, employees, and partners, are all struggling with the same challenge. There is simply too much information to get your arms around. How do you find the time to reign it all in and still be able to do your job…and live your life? The secret is technology.
The same vehicle that has created this avalanche of information is also the same vehicle that can help you sort, sift, and manage what’s important to you on a daily basis. By picking up these apps you can customize the topics you find of interest as well as those topics you need to effectively perform your job.
- Zite, Flipboard, Pulse. These are news apps that you can customize with key words or topics that are of interest to you. Using those words or phrases these apps go out into the web and search for articles that are a match for the topics you created. They each have their strengths and weaknesses which are mostly in the eye of the beholder. Zite uses a lot of white space while Flipboard and Pulse fill the pages with big picture blocks. Zite and Flipboard allow you to integrate your other social networks while Pulse does not. For content, Zite is king. It applies great intelligence as it looks for content it “thinks” you may be interested in based upon your profile.
- Google Alerts. You can create alerts which are sent via “Push” to your desktop, laptop or any smart device. Setting up alerts for “small business”, or “Apple”, result in a push notification any time Google sees those words used in the news on the internet. You can set alerts for virtually any topic, company, or person you want to follow.
- Twitter. It’s not enough to have a Twitter account. To maximize Twitter you need to be following the right Twitter users or “Tweeple“. Of course “right”, depends 100% on you and your interests. I personally find great value in following: Forbes, Hubspot, SiriusDecisions, Harvard Biz Review, CMO.com, and American Express’ Open Forum. Each of these contributors provides great perspective that is relevant to my interests.
- LinkedIn. Today’s conventional thinking suggests that even college students should establish a LinkedIn profile. Executives should have at least 500 contacts in their network, as well as membership in at least 6 groups. There is virtually a LinkedIn group for any topic or interest you may have. Connecting with the right groups and participating in discussions within those groups will help keep you informed while building your credibility as a thought leader.
Lastly, it is important you set a specific time each day dedicated to your personal “information gathering and education” sessions. Getting in the habit of setting a set time each day for you to monitor the news that is most important to YOU is another way to control the flow of information and help you stay informed easily and effectively.