There was a time I'd subscribe to 200+ blogs, but not any more. Apart from a few friends, mostly old blogs I've always read, I simply don't subscribe to blogs anymore. It's been this way for about two years. Boil it all down and blogs were always about finding interesting and useful nuggets of information. These days it's far more efficient to pick up information in places other than blogs. The following are two methods I have used to keep up to date with news on the future of journalism and online journalism training:
- Set up a delicious account.
- Now, you need to find the accounts of the really Obsessive-compulsive journalism bloggers/tweeters/researchers. How do you do this? Some OCD journalism bloggers, like Paul Bradshaw for example, make it obvious on their blogs that they use delicious – see right hand column on his blog. Go to his delicious account, find his network, find some bookmarkers you like, add them to your own delicious network, then search their networks, add more users to your network, rinse and repeat for other bookmarkers. This way it's very quick to build a free research team of like-minded bookmarkers to work for with you.
- Finally, subscribe to the resulting network RSS feed. For me that's at the left hand side of the bottom of this page http://delicious.com/network/noodlepie
It's quicker and easier to read nuggets of "research" in an RSS reader than to lumber through 30+ blog posts or more on the subject.
In some ways Twitter is replacing this as many of these same folks post great links direct to Twitter. Or, like me until earlier this week, they publish through several networks simultaneously. However, a delicious network RSS
feed is a very efficient way of distilling the information you need into a single place – your RSS reader.
Increasingly, I have found I don't have time to follow news on the future of journalism. At least not in the same depth as I used to do using the method above. Therefore, to tweak this research method yet further I distill all the above a little more,
- Create an account in Yahoo Pipes and learn how to set a basic pipe up.
- Find the bookmarkers within your network who consistently provide good links that target your specific interests. Copy those RSS feeds.
- Send them through a Yahoo Pipe. Make sure to filter for rubbish and duplicates if necessary – using the unique, filter and sort Yahoo Pipe operators.
- Once you're done, subscribe to the resulting RSS feed.
That's what I ended up doing with nine of the journalism bookmarkers I like best with the crude Online Journalism News Wire pipe. In some cases, like bookmark crazed Martin Stabe, I have used the RSS feed of a single tag from his delicious account. Others I take the whole feed.
It takes a little time to set things up this way, especially if you are unfamiliar with the tools. However, once it works to your liking you should find a fine trickle of information you need arriving in your RSS reader every day as opposed to a flood of information you don't really need.
For topics you need to keep a very close and extremely comprehensive eye on this method won't work. We'll take a look at how to do that in a later media training tip.
Read more in Part 1 in this Media trainer training tips series.