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Filtering out the noise (revisited)

About 12 months ago I wrote this post about the tools I was using to try to cope with information overload. I have been prompted to revisit it by being asked to complete Thing 7 for the Theory and evaluation of elearning module of the MSc.

In that post, I mentioned 3 tools I was using: iGoogle, as a home page which showed e:mails and twitter and RSS feeds; Google reader, which I used to collate feeds from blogs I subscribed to; and Scoop.it, a web curation tool. I finished the post by saying it would be interesting to see if I was still using the same tools some months later.

Well, here we are and things have changed a tad, mainly due to the fact that I have acquired an iPad, which has changed the way I use the internet and manage information quite radically.

iGoogle is no more (for me), but Google reader has been resurrected. I was having problems managing the reading of all the blog posts I had subscribed to. I will try to explain how things have improved by using the iPad, through the following screen shots:

This first screenshot is from Google Reader on my PC. It shows that I have over 400 unread blog posts, and although there are some possibly interesting posts there (including the one I’ve highlighted in red, the list doesn’t inspire me enough to scroll down.

In fact, I tended to go in to Google reader and mark all posts as read, just to get rid of the ‘unread posts’ number.

iPad text reader
Unread feeds
iPad home page

Moving on to the iPad didn’t make things any better at first. I am still reminded that I have a lot of reading to do!

What made a significant difference was the Flipboard app for the iPad. This app allows you set up a magazine for all subscriptions, ie Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds. So, the same feeds as above are now shown with images. The posts look much more interesting than in the text readers above, and using the Flipboard app I can flick through the pages like a magazine, stopping to read posts that catch my eye.

Here is a video which demonstrates the app: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My2RVT64Rlg&list=UUOfaC-F4a2MTRm37U02S17Q&index=1&feature=plcp



3 thoughts on “Filtering out the noise (revisited)

  1. The trends page is surprisingly interesting and useful. You can find it in the left-hand navigation pane, or with this shortcut combination: g then <shift> t. While you can get some interesting insights into which feeds you really read, when you read them and what you clicked, the real value is in pruning your feeds . Take a look at the frequently-updated feeds section of the subscription trends; these are the high volume feeds in your reader. Now, which ones do you really still read and which ones have the zero percent read rating? You can unsubscribe from the dead weight by clicking the conveniently-located trash can, and it won’t take you long at all to reduce the clutter.

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