How I manage my social media intake

Every now and then, people ask how I knew something or how I can keep up on the things I do.  Rather than go over it a bunch of times I’d like to try and share it once.

First and foremost, the most important thing is managing the “noise” you do listen to.  Specifically, I do not watch or read the “news” unless an event somewhere else triggers the need/desire to check things out.  Second, in social media you need to learn how the tools work, and by that I mean using things like lists, or hiding individual noise makers (for example, if less than 1 in 3 of your posts has anything useful and you’re not immediate family there’s a good chance you’re getting blocked).

So on to the specifics…  The way I make this work is with a few tools:

  • Feedly – For subscribing to RSS feeds
  • Social Media – Take your choice.  Mine are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+
  • Flipboard – For viewing social media and RSS feeds
  • Pocket – For reading the things that may actually be useful
  • Evernote – For storing the things that actually were useful

Step 1 – Setup your Inputs

In this step, you would subscribe to the feeds you’re interested in via Google Reader, setup social media profiles on the network(s) of your choice, connect with the people you want to on those networks, and create your VIP lists.

On Twitter I have a private “VIP” list I maintain of people I most respect and that post useful content.  This list has less than 20 members.

On Facebook, because of their ridiculous “news feed”, I don’t pay attention to most posts and a lot of people wind up getting hidden.  I also have a VIP list for immediate family.

No matter what network I strongly recommend setting up a “VIP” list (actually call it that) so you can easily get at the people and content you’re most interested in without all the other noise.

Step 2 – Setup Flipboard

This is my platform of choice for being able to quickly scan inputs at a glance and decide which things may be worth my time.  For example, you can have a board for your Google Reader feed, social media feeds, or even specific lists on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

You’ll also want to setup the “read it later” service of your choice, which for me is Pocket.  Once you’ve done this, as you’re flipping through the posts on any “board” you can simply long press and choose “Read Later” to have the article saved without all the ads and garbage for easy reading later.

This is where the “triage” is done multiple times a day. When I have a spare minute I’ll flip through a given board or boards marking articles of interest to read later.

Step 3 – Read

After things have been saved to Pocket, when I have more than a quick minute I’ll read the articles I’m interested in.  Pocket is great because it has apps for iPhone and Android as well as a web app for reading on a larger screen.

Step 4 – Archive

If I find something I really like, Pocket makes it very easy to save the article to Evernote for future reference (except for on the web platform).  Once in Evernote I can get at any article from anywhere since they have an app for just about every platform under the sun.  Personally, I have an “Article Ref” notebook that everything gets shoved into.

So there you have it.  My personal method for managing my social media intake.  Hope you find it useful and learned something you hadn’t known before.

Self Control

A friend shared this post from facebook and I thought it worthwhile to pass along…
If we cannot control our own mouths (e.g. we lecture too much, have to prove our point, yell and scream)…how can we expect our children to control their mouths?
If we cannot control our emotions, how can we expect our kids to control their emotions?
… Let’s make 2013 the year we get control of ourselves.
Of course this is sometimes easier said than done as any parent can attest to 🙂

Exclude Categories from WordPress Feed

Want to keep posts from a given WordPress category or categories out of your public feed?  If so, just edit the template’s functions.php file and append this code…

function myFeedExcluder($query) {
 if ($query->is_feed) {
return $query;


This code will keep the category ID=”12″ out of the feed. If you want to exclude more than one category, put them in separated by commas ‘-12,-25,-33′.

Thanks to this page for this tip!

Thankful for Being Blessed

As we enter the stereotypical season of thanks I’ve been looking back at things that we’ve accomplished over the years, and I’ve realized that I have been extremely blessed.  I’m blessed…

  • To have been born in America
  • To be healthy
  • To have parents from a working class background
  • To have had a good education
  • To have married a wonderful woman
  • To have healthy children
  • To have a great company
  • To have a great job
  • To have been taught: discipline, self-sacrifice, and hard work

For any of you that helped to heap these many blessings on me, I say “Thank You!” now, tomorrow, and forever.


It’s my unbirthday!

There’s still time left in my charity:water unbirthday campaign to bring safe drinking water to people in developing countries.  100% of all donations directly fund water projects, and  every dollar is proven using photos and GPS coordinates on a map.

You can even check out the results from my last “unbirthday”

The best gift is a gift to my unbirthday campaign