It’s pretty overwhelming to figure out what to read, who to “follow” and identify trends among a virtual tsunami of information that is available. But it’s also important to figure it out. While I certainly can’t claim to have found the perfect formula, I have landed on a way to prevent the feeling of panic that I’m only getting a small piece of what’s really important.
Our business requires us to stay current on topics around management, and our sector focus covers both nonprofit and for profit organizations. Within those categories, there are specific topics we need to follow such as giving, fundraising, strategic planning, corporate citizenship, marketing and communication, and the list goes on. But can you read all the major publications and absorb its content and still actually get work done? For me, that’s the struggle. With all the content, where do you focus?
My solution is to break information down into different categories: general news, functional news (related to work) and special interests. Within each of those categories, I identify sources that I trust, respect and enjoy. Then I use a news consolidator. Flipboard is the one I use, but there are others out there. Flipboard calls itself an online magazine that is designed for tablets and smartphones. Really it’s an online magazine that you can customize or curate according to your own interests.
The great thing about these platforms is that they enable you to add and subtract topics and sources very easily. As a user, you identify sources (online journals, trade publications, news organizations, blogs, etc. – essentially anything that has a web address) and topics you’re interested in following. Then the program collects all the information from the web and presents it in one place. It’s also easy to share content because you can link to social media sites.
This approach doesn’t completely eliminate the feeling that I’m missing something, but it does give me piece of mind.
How do you keep up with your industry and things that interest you without lying awake at night wondering what you’re missing?