What’s your Social Media diet?

I often get asked the question – how do you keep up with it all?

And if there is one thing I pride myself on is being organized. As anyone on my team can tell you from having been in my office is that it is very organized which I feel spills over into my digital life as well.

I can say that life was a lot more chaotic before I found Google Reader (hat tip to Robert Scoble who turned me on to Google Reader).

A typical day starts at 6am with answering the new email that came in over night and then some morning reading in my RSS reader (see photo of this mornings Google Reader). I break out my reading by several meta-topics like Must Reads which is mostly keeping me up to date on things like Facebook because of my book and the new book coming out in November as well as B2B Marketing trends, Primary are blogs that I frequent such as the majors like Mashable and the individual blogs like Web Ink Now (plus a ton more), some personal stuff like Sailing blogs, Avaya blogs and Google alerts on Avaya and our Competitors, Novitaz which is an In-Store Digital Ad Network (who I am a marketing advisor for) as well as a feed of all my Favorite Facebook friends status updates just to be sure I don’t miss anything (note on how to do this – create a friend list – then take the RSS feed of their status updates and import that to Google Reader, then there is the Ye Olde Vanity search in case people are talking about me on blogs or elsewhere, my Delicious friends feed which is a great way  of seeing what other friends are tagging (such as Charline Li, and Brian Solis) I use this mostly as a “safety net” in case I miss something hot – they will most likely tag it, Research such as Forrester or MarketingProfs usually premium content, but stuff I want to know about as soon as it gets produced, then my SlideShare Technology feed so when folks post new presentations and tag them with the Technology category I get them in this feed – its a great source for ideas and keeping up to date on technology and  finally Magazines – I canceled every magazine subscription expect for BtoB Magazine and BusinessWeek – everything else comes in here such as Wired, Fast Company etc …

Things I share on Google Reader appear on my lifestream on Friendfeed which collects shared items from other feeds like:  my personal Delicious feed, YouTube feed,  SlideShare feed, my StumbleUpon, my Flickr, and my Digg feeds and then pushes them out as updates via Twitter.

Throughout the day I follow toggle between TweetDeck, retweeting good posts and reading new posts on my Google Reader and sharing them (during lunch or after work). Weekends are devoted to Blog posts and writing the new book.

With over 300 feeds coming into my Google Reader, Twitter alerts popping up all over the place and email coming in by the truck load its easy to feel overloaded fast. My advice would be don’t let Google Reader (or any social activity) over run your life – remember you are in control!

20 comments to What’s your Social Media diet?

  • Paul, great post! I too use Google Reader and find that it helps me stay on top of things. I like the way you’re using SlideShare. It’s definitely a site with some good content. Organization is key when there is so much noise on the internet these days.

  • Wow, you have a busy life! I am on the brink of letting my business overtake my life – there is always so much to do!

    Your post helped me remember why I have a home business to begin with: to have a better life!

    Organization is the key.


  • @Jose – thanks I have been overly swamped with Google Reader so finding your balance from a content perspective is key –
    thanks for commenting!

  • @Ana – agreed thanks for commenting Ana

  • Feed reader is my best friend for more than 7 years now. Started with Bloglines, moved to Google reader. Now I use NetNewsWare Mac client synchronized with Google reader. At any point of time there are more than 200 feeds I am subscribed to,categorized accordingly – like Marketing, Web 2.OH, Lifehack etc. I apply GTD framework to the feeds I subscribe – regular branching and pruning. Unsubscribing the feeds which no longer within my domain of interest and subscribing to new…

    Serendipitous finds in Twitter / Facebook etc. is great, but for organized readings feedreaders are still indispensable.

  • @Anol – Glad to hear you subscribe to web 2.oh – me too – I used to work with those guys – very smart

    thanks for commenting

  • This is a helpful post, Paul. I migrated to Google reader from Newsgator (after NG went corporate) about a year ago. I didn’t realize I could connect to my FriendFeed. Thx.

    Can you elaborate more on how you added feeds from from your Facebook friends’ statuses? I tried it using a current FB friend list, but Google didn’t find any feeds.

    Thanks, Paul!

  • @Joan – Looks like Facebook has eliminated that option
    if I had to suggest another way – I would say add it to your Tweetdeck so you can see it more real time

  • Lots of us feel overwhelmed by social networks, blog updates, and for those of us doing our own things — website updates, email campaigns, etc. Add to that a wealth of thought leadership content and the people on your website bombard you with signups, etc. It all seems overwhelming.

    The key, as you point out, is to establish a consistent process. Certain times are family time. Other times are website updates. Time shift with a DVR and use Sunday nights for blog articles.

    I use Google Reader and Tweetdeck too. They save a lot of time so long as you don’t let them be your master.

    Jeff Ogden, President
    Find New Customers

  • Thanks for sharing.

    Looks like Windows icons in the graphic…I wonder what a Macintosh experience would look like for you?

    Seems that having an official personal consumption workflow makes a ton of sense.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Greenville, South Carolina sometime!

  • @Jeff – great point it reminds me that I always stay curious about new social technology but be vigilant about the ones you engage in

  • @Trey – you are right it is a PC version – will check the Mac view on my wides Mac – shouldn’t be that different – thanks for commenting

  • Thanks very much for sharing how you manage to stay so active in social media yet productive with your time. I’ve wondered how you did it all so I appreciate the insight. I also love Google Reader (a lifesaver!) but would like to better organize my feeds, great to know how to incorporate SlideShare and other tools into it. I’m using FriendFeed now on a limited basis, like your technique of using it to collect various sources and publish via Twitter.

  • Zach Philip

    this gave me an insight as to how people handle so many social media tools with so much elan! i also found these tips very helpful http://bit.ly/aKM5NF for my e-commerce website!

  • @Zach – thanks for the link to Amazon – I will check these tips out!

  • @Kim – great thanks for commenting

  • Maicol Ospina

    Very useful tips Paul. I use Facebook religiously and recently hopped on the Twitter bandwagon. With technology the way it is now and the sheer number of people communicating with each other, it’s daunting to think of the possibilities in regards to getting your name out there. For example, with the company I work with, Auto Shipping Network, it’s amazing how social networking influences the industry. And all it takes is some good ol’ fashion organization, along with staying up to date. Keep up the good work! Visit our website at http://www.autoshippingnetwork.com

  • @Maicol – yes every industry is seeing this type of online behavior specifically around influencing buying habits – and frankly I dont see it reversing at all any time soon!

  • Any tips or advice that can help is always appreciated.-Healthcare Help

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