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How I keep up with the constant flow
November 11, 2010 - 10:00pm

What's new [with technology]? How do you do it? You must be online all the time? I get asked these questions all of the time. Sometimes it happens when I'm speaking in front of a group of student affairs professionals. People often assume that I am online all of the time. That I am constantly connected to the web. I always tell people that my method of receiving and digesting technology news and information is really not that complicated. It's a combination of experience (time does matter) and a well-connected / well-placed network of sites and tools. For me, efficiency trumps being "on" all of the time. This is how I do it:

Bookmarks on Delicious: With over 3,000 bookmarks (and growing), I refer to Delicious as my brain's external hard drive. Delicious "remembers" everything for me. It's a tremendous resource. I've already asked if "your bookmarks are delicious." I can't imagine how I would keep track of things without Delicious.

RSS and Blogs: I read a lot of blogs. I keep track of updates via RSS. That way, I can stay abreast of hundreds of blogs without feeling overloaded. Once again, it's about being efficient...quality over quantity by way of really simple syndication technology. Here's a great list of student affairs bloggers.

Twitter - favorites, following, and hashtags: I currently follow more than 1,200 accounts on Twitter. I am constantly reading, clicking, analyzing, processing, and collecting tweets off and on throughout the day. The secret to following that many accounts is that they do not all post new tweets at the same time. The stream is constant, but not overwhelming. The tweets that I think are of the utmost value are "favorited" to be read again when I am in "digest mode." I use the "favorite" function quite a bit. I currently have over 1,800 favorites!

One of the most untapped resources in the Twitter stream is the ability to track conversations by way of hashtags. An archive of a Twitter-based hashtag conversation can be full of interesting tips, news, ideas, concepts, and data. A couple of great examples of this are the #SAchat "recaps" and the #AcAdv chat archives. These are both wonderful resources for finding out what student affairs professionals think about a wide variety of topics.

LinkedIn Discussions: I get daily emails that update me on a plethora of conversations that are taking place in LinkedIn groups. It takes just a few minutes each day to quickly scan my email for interesting / relevant conversations. The comments from student affairs professionals are generally very insightful.

What are your favorite ways to digest and process information on the web? Did you think that I was online all of the time?

Do you tweet? Let's connect. Follow me on Twitter.


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