An end to information overload may be in sight. Call me late to the party (or perhaps naïve!), but I think I’m starting to make social media work for me, and not in the way you might think.
This is what I’m talking about:
Let’s start with using Twitter. I signed up not to tweet (although I do, sometimes), but to subscribe to information feeds from people and organizations that I want to hear from. Most post infrequently – a couple times a day – and parlay their message in 10 words or less. I can see their whole message at a glance and click on the bit.ly link if I want more. (I also unfollow anyone who tweets too much – beware all ye who mix up real information with sharing that it’s time for your coffee break! Get a separate Twitter account for that stuff, wouldja?)
Then I downloaded TweetDeck, which I read about on Chris Curran’s site. TweetDeck lets you bring in feeds from Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, then displays each in a pane on a single screen. I have just Twitter and Facebook accounts, but even consolidating just those has made a big difference in my engagement with those communities. I check them much more often and find myself getting my daily fill of IT insights there instead of in the many newsletters I get via email that I never seem to have time to read. And I can contribute to those communities quickly and easily, without having to sit down and write a whole article.
Now if only I could find a way to get my LinkedIn updates, Gmail and other sundry faves from across the Web together in a similar fashion, I’d be even more efficient, informed and responsive than I am now. Yes, really using Twitter “right” (for networking, relationship building and so on) requires more than I’m giving it, but for now this approach fits my reality and my needs. I highly recommend it.