Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yes, I use 2 feed readers!

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20080826-k7m891jbhsx6166uxf218h15hd.jpgThis week I'm in Chicago enabling fellow co-workers on Lotus Connections. The goal is to discuss the following topics:

  • What's new in 2.0
  • Installation and Deployment
  • Loading data using Tivoli Directory Integrator
  • Integration and customization
  • Administration
  • etc

As part of hyping up Lotus Connections and our social software offerings, I mentioned how it has reduced my inbox clutter.

Social Software fits your lifestyle

As I was talking to one of my co-workers, he "discovered" that I use 2 feed readers! "Am I crazy??", you might think. Well, maybe, but I would like to think that I'm not. There's a method to this madness, I promise. Last month, I argued that there's no right or wrong way to implement and use social software. Instead, I argued that social software must adjust to your needs!

Now, as one of the Americas evangelists for Lotus Connections I need to stay in touch with various things: Twitter, internal blogs, competitor blogs, industry blogs, friends' blogs, local blogs, etc. At one point, I was subscribed to over 100 feeds. The problem ? I can't deal with unread marks!!!

Classify your feeds

20080826-dnytxxnc7877q3m34bafe7fkw9.jpgSince "some people" claim that your feed reader is your new inbox, I figured I could have two "inboxes" just like I have a business email and personal email. Therefore, I decided to divide the feeds between business critical and other. Business critical feeds are those that meet the majority of the following criteria:

  • Need to know the information ASAP (e.g. new features on our competitor's systems, press releases, information from product management, etc)
  • Need to be able to read the content offline
  • Internal / confidential blogs

Thus, I use NetNewsWire on my Mac for business critical feeds and Google Reader for the rest. In my local feed reader I subscribe to blogs by person and by keyword (e.g. 'web2.0').

So, are you going crazy managing your feeds ? Consider splitting your feeds between two feed readers. And there you have it! A perfect example of how social software adopts to my needs! And yes, that's how I become more productive following and managing all this "information overload". I hope this serves as a tip for those of you who are feeling overwhelmed with all those millions and billions of feeds that exist out there!

How about you? What do you do to manage all the feeds that you are following ?

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