How DO You Do It?

Stay on top of your industry, that is. If you’re a business professional in any category and you’re not using Google Reader or some lesser tool to monitor newsfeeds, I’m very concerned about your future. Whoa. What did you say, Todd? I said, I’m very concerned about your future!

You see, unless you’re working on a production line somewhere making widgets for an hourly wage [not that there’s anything wrong with that — I’ve done it myself] your growth and advancement in business and in life [see this if you don’t believe me] depends on your ongoing professional development and that depends in large part upon your ability to aggregate, manage, and leverage relevant information

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Consume, create, communicate

John Jantsch
Image via Wikipedia

John Jantsch recently wrote on the topic of “Profiting from other people’s content”. He says…

“Don’t be alarmed by that title — I’m not talking about stealing content for gain, I’m talking about adding the filtering and aggregating of content to your content consumption, creation and sharing routine.

Pretty much everyone has bought into the idea that they need to produce lots of valuable content in order to build the trust and search engine eyes of today’s online prospect. One way to supplement your content strategy while still providing lots of value, is to get good at finding and filtering other people’s content that your prospects and customers will find useful as well. (Done right, the other people will thank you for giving a wider audience to their content).

It should go without saying that giving credit to the original source and full attribution to the author when appropriate is a must.” Source: Profiting From Other People’s Content | Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

John talks about “consumption, creation and sharing routine” — my mantra is ‘listen, publish, promote’ which is a little more elegant in my book but we’re both trying to say the same thing and use an alliteration in the process. If I were John, I might go for ‘consume, create, communicate‘ — in fact, I might start using that instead. Either way, the point is that gathering good content effectively and commenting on it is a great way to build your personal brand. I’ve been using this strategy for years — most recently, I amped it up by using Posterous [another tool that John advocates] and saving more content directly to my blog instead of shared bookmarks as I used to do. Here are the results:

I think the results are really quite good for an ‘army of one’, don’t you? I do all my ‘creation and communication’ as a result of my daily ‘consumption’ — because my system is easy to implement and use, I work it frequently. I call quoting other sites ‘curation’ and my rare original thoughts ‘creation’. The curation works to draw people to my creation. Does it work? You betcha [you’re reading this, aren’t you?]. The average person drawn into my blog through effective communication reads 3.3 pages and spends 2:52 minutes on the site, while only 4.75% ‘bounce’ to another site. Over 71% are new visitors…

Jantsch goes on to give three tactical implementations of his ‘profiting from content’ suggestion. They are…

Make yourself a better resource

Creating a habit of filtering content related to your industry, products, competitors and customers will make you better at what you do, allow you to keep up with trends and give you data to help you build deeper relationships with customers.

Share content to draw attention

Pointing out useful resources and good finds is a great way to build your social media and blog followings. Consistently sharing relevant links and sharing them on Twitter is a strategy that many find helps them be seen as follow worthy. Creating a once a week blog post roundup of good stuff is a great way to add content and keep readers engaged.

Filter personalized content

A more advanced strategy is to use your filter skills to create your own industry research briefs. If you specialize in several market niches you can create laser specific new pages and email newsletter roundups that feature the best of what you find each week. You can even use RSS technology to deliver dynamically changing web content password protected for your best clients.” Source: Profiting From Other People’s Content | Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

Clearly, John and I share a lot of the same ‘common sense’. He goes on to list 10 different resources [you can follow the link] you can use as tools to find other people’s content. One of them — Kurrently — is one I’ll have to add to my toolkit. For me, however, this is where we part ways. My paradigm is “Google Reader is the answer. Now what is the question?“.

I use Google Reader like a tactical nuke. It’s the one tool I use to manage the ‘rest of the internet’ and I use it like a virtual newspaper or better yet, news bureau, where I manage hundreds of little newsbots that do my news aggregation for me. I have 5 great ways to get relevant content into Google Reader and they include most of John’s 10 tools — it’s just that in my book, Google Reader is the one tool that rules them all. It really is the driver in my ‘e1evation workflow’ outlined below. Either you get it and you can use it or I can help you implement it but the point is that if you have a brand and you want to build it online, we can help…

btw, you think John will be upset about me ‘Profiting From Other People’s Content’? 😀

Tactic #7: Bookmark socially!

Although the perspective focuses on Delicious, the message is clear; Bookmarking has more value when you use a tool that saves your bookmarks out to a website where they can be accessed or shared from any computer to any computer or user

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x66lV7GOcNU

My favorite tool of this sort is called ‘FriendFeed’. Here’s a little on the philosophy and strategy behind FriendFeed…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj1rI1q3qEA

Now, something about the tactics…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y6KfC4tCMI

Things I love about FriendFeed:

  1. It can aggregate content from over 60 different sources to create one mega lifestream and/or you can keep separate streams by creating rooms
  2. You can easily share that stream with your Friendfeed friends
  3. You can integrate it with Facebook or your blog or an rss reader
  4. It’s easy to add content to your FriendFeed stream via Shareaholic, ShareThis or the FriendFeed bookmarklet

Things I don’t love about FriendFeed?

  1. The friend management tools are kludgy and probably won’t be fixed in the near future because of #2.
  2. It was acquired by Facebook and it’s future is uncertain!

Finally, a bit of humor. Here’s the Führer’s perspective on the FriendFeed acquisition… 😉

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3g6-GWCGt8

I keep telling you…

…that in order to thrive, not just survive, on the internet, you’ve got to master RSS feeds! Perhaps if someone else explains it this time, it will start to sink in…

“RSS or “Really Simple Syndication” is a term used to explain how, instead of you having to chase all over the Web to find the latest stories and news items you are interested in, you get the Web to bring them to you.

This can save you hours. I call it designing your own news service, delivered to you every day or as often as you want.

The “syndication” part of it is like when a comic strip is “syndicated”, that is, licensed to be used in newspapers all over the world. Bloggers and others who provide stories and articles online want more people to read them, so they “syndicate” them – that is, give permission for them to be read where you want to read them.

Blogs (and some other websites) have code in them to make this happen – it’s called a “feed” because it feeds the information to you that you want. How you usually know where that code is to be found is the orange (or whatever colored) icon. And sometimes words like “subscribe to my feed” or “subscribe to this blog”.

“Subscribe” just means that you get the feed and put it into a tool called a “feed reader” – most of these are free.” Source: What’s RSS? — Des Walsh dot Com

Do go to the source and read the rest of the article, but only if you’re wanting to gain a competitive advantage that will help you crush the competition!

Then, if you’re inspired, go back and read all the posts I’ve done on the topic! Hmmm. Sounds a little cranky — maybe I need more coffee [or, I’ve had too much!]… 😉

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Want to Monitor RSS Feeds…

…but don’t want to use an rss reader? Personally, I think that’s going in the wrong direction, but  that would be your choice. ‘Feed my Inbox’ is a website that will allow you to track websites with newsfeeds and send an update to your inbox with new postings every day. By the way, if you agree that news readers are the ‘inbox for the rest of the internet’ and want to learn how to use Google Reader, click here for my free 30 minute training session on Reader…

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Tactic #2: 'Listen' to the internet…

In case it’s not obvious by now, I’m very passionate about ‘enabling’ technology – technology that enables people to go beyond themselves and accomplish great things. My favorites sites are sites like Lifehacker, Mashable, Stepcase Lifehack, etc. – you get the point! I read the geeky stuff looking for good, fast and cheap tools so that my clients don’t have to – I keep my fingers on the pulse of what’s happening technology and productivity-wise for you…

Because I’m out there on the cutting edge, I see a lot of great stuff come and go and each year it seems there’s ONE BIG THING I discover that changes the way I work forever. Last year for example, it was ‘mastering’ WordPress – that one thing had a fundamental impact on my business and my life, in fact, most of my business now revolves around WordPress in one way or another. Well, if someone asked me what is the coolest tool or technology I’ve mastered in the past five or ten years, my answer, without a doubt would be rss feeds and readers. RSS? Yes, RSS! Read more of this post

How DO You Do It?

Stay on top of your industry, that is. If you’re a business professional in any category and you’re not using Google Reader or some lesser tool to monitor newsfeeds, I’m very concerned about your future. Whoa. What did you say, Todd? I said, I’m very concerned about your future!

You see, unless you’re working on a production line somewhere making widgets for an hourly wage [not that there’s anything wrong with that — I’ve done it myself] your growth and advancement in business and in life [see this if you don’t believe me] depends on your ongoing professional development and that depends in large part upon your ability to aggregate, manage, and leverage relevant information

Read more of this post