Up until a few weeks ago I had a Content Curation methodology I was happy with, then something changed.
Part of successful Blogging is reading a lot, and I mean a lot. I have often got 2 or 3 books on the go. I’m scanning Twitter and Google+ hourly, I subscribed to some key source newsletters, download white-papers and have hundreds of feeds in Google Reader.
As well as Blogging, it’s part of my day job to ensure I am aware of the latest trends online.
A by-product of this media consumption is Content Curation; sifting through the news and sharing what I feel is relevant to the people I spend my time with online. Hopefully, saving them the time and effort of finding the information themselves.
Enter the iPad
The iPad for me is the most fantastic tool when it comes to productivity, in terms of content consumption. Now I can carry every book (Kindle), PDF (Stanza), web site article (Instapaper), idea (Evernote) and RSS feed (various), with me.
Anyone that has used RSS knows how unmanageable it can quickly become if you get behind on reading your feeds. At the same time you have this immense feeling of not wanting to miss anything.
I have used various applications to parse these feeds and a while ago I settled on Flipboard & Zite. Both of these iPad apps can draw in RSS feeds from Google Reader, then present them in a magazine style interface to make for natural reading, an “e-magazine” if you like.
It was great, each morning I would open my “e-magazine” containing only the content I wanted to see. Interesting articles I would then Tweet out as I read. Only one problem; I read quite a lot, and fast. Between 7am and 8am my stream would be a flurry of Tweets. Anyone following me who didn’t follow too many other people would have had their screen filled with messages, yuk, very spammy.
To resolve this issue I would copy and paste the Tweets into HootSuite and schedule them to be sent throughout the day.
This was okay for a while, but a bit labour intensive; even with multi-tasking on the iPad my flow for reading was interrupted and it just didn’t work too well. I put up with it though, as I preferred this to be seen as spamming people online.
Recently a solution to this problem has appeared and changed my behaviour, improving my work flow.
Introducing the Buffer App
You feed Buffer your Tweets and it will automatically schedule them for you throughout the day. You can login to the web based interface and rearrange Tweets or add extra time slots. You can even upgrade to a paid account to allow you to Buffer more Tweets.
The best part for me is that I can email Buffer my Tweets from within which ever application I happen to be reading in at the time on any platform.
This means that on the iPad I am now back to skimming through my RSS feeds far more efficiently. I now use the Reeder App as I can scroll through many more feeds at a time looking for content, and within a couple of clicks email any relevant articles directly to my Buffer.
The Sin of Automation
Yes this is automation, of a sort. I would argue that it is to the benefit of others, as much as myself. I am still curating the content, ensuring it is something I believe will be of interest, I am just automating when it is sent.
In addition I am also engaging on Twitter in real time throughout the day when time allows.
Using this method everyone wins and gets value from it.