Last month I gave you The Social Media Strategist Workout, which is the routine I follow to manage my social media activity throughout the day. In answering the question “How I manage my level of activity and work and a family and all the other stuff” I told you part of the answer was the routine and part of the answer was the tools I use. This post is specifically about the tools I use to sift through all the noise while I’m at work.
One of the biggest challenges facing social media strategists and, in reality all knowledge workers who choose to engage with social media at work, is information overload and self induced stimulation overload. I’ve already given you 3 tips to prevent social media overload but here are some must have tools to maximize media consumption. In a later post I’ll cover production tools.
For reference I’ve also created the Social Media Strategist Power Tools, Tool Kit on oneforty. This doesn’t cover everything but I’ll continue to add to it.
This is the short list of tools I leave open most of the day. As soon as my computer’s on, so are these.
TweetDeck: I have many friends that swear by @Hootsuite or @Seesmic and they’re good tools too, but personally I prefer TweetDeck. I’ve used it since it first launched, I’m familiar with it and even after trying the other products, I keep coming back to TweetDeck. The only thing I have changed lately is that I now use the TweeDeck Chrome app.It’s less of a resource hog but it also lacks some features, but after using it for the last several months, I don’t really miss them. You can see all of my other posts about TweetDeck here. But now that @LizaSperling is working at Seesmic, I may have to rethink my choice.
Feedly: Feedly runs on top of Google Reader. I really wish it didn’t. I really, really wish there was a reasonable alternative to Google Reader that worked as awesome as Feedly but there isn’t so I’ll shut up (unless you know one then please let me know). But I also wish Feedly worked on Internet Explorer, because IE9 is ‘teh awesome’ and there’s a lot of clients I’d like to recommend it to (Microsoft and IE are clients so I’m probably going to get some flack just for mentioning that I use Chrome <j/k>). Feedly is just awesome. It takes all of my hundreds of RSS feeds and wraps them in a killer UI. It links to my Twitter and Bitly accounts, pulls in relevant Flickr and YouTube videos, stocks, Amazon recommendations and lots of other cool stuff. You can read my previous post on Feedly.
Twendz: Every day there’s some news trend I’m following. Like SXSW! It could be a hashtag, something related to a client or some random item of interest. Twendz.com pulls in a typical Twitter search, runs it through automated sentiment and provides you a tag cloud with the most relevant related terms. In full disclosure, Twendz is a product of my employer, Waggener Edstrom. It’s free so go give it a try.
These are the sites I hit several times a day. Before I even dive into the core tools, I run through each of these sites once.
Techmeme/Mediagazer: Techmeme and it’s media centric sister site, Mediagazer are two of my firsts stops every morning. Last month I wrote about the amount of overlapping content between the two sites and since then I’ve noticed a very deliberate effort to diversify the content on the two sites and I must say it’s noticeably better.
Watrcoolr: There are two flavors of WaterCoolr. The regular http://watercooler.us and the geek version at http://hacker.wattercooler.us. Guess which one I use? The sits is great because it aggregates from the best top tier news aggregators and because of it’s keyboard short cuts.
Twitter.com Hacked: I just wrote about this little “hack” of using the @My6Sense and @Klout Chrome plugins to overlay their data on Twitter’s Web interface. It’s really useful to go back and look for any links you might have missed over the course of the day.
Quora: Most people are still trying to figure out the usefulness of @Quora and while I think there’s a lot of untapped potential I check it a few times a day to either search for an answer (because the question I’m looking for is likely already answered), and if not to ask a question, which I haven’t really done that much, to answer questions I feel well equipped to answer that don’t already have a bunch of answers, but mostly I look to see what kinds of questions people are asking. This is very telling in many ways.
I’d really love to hear what power consumption tips you have? What are your best content sources/tools?