As an information junkie – but I don’t have the time to read as much as I’d like. Given the time, I’d read news and blogs all day.
Why? I love the open internet and being able to view problems from every viewpoint and then distilling things through relevancy filters and finally decide what I believe about important issues. Not just top news or politics, but things from the internet industry, social media, Tech, Search, Startups… and on endlessly.
The ability to learn new things and gain wider perspectives from as many sources as I can find – is incredible online.
But what inevitably happens to us is that we get lazy and accept news and opinions from single sources with frozen, opinionated perspectives. Political stances are swallowed whole from questionable sources. Worse, some of us decide we’ll only accept news from a single biased source.
Now we can “Follow News” from single sources. Below is a video showing a service from Mashable that allows you to choose the news channel you want to follow on Mashable. This is great, and would provide good tech news on social media and startups. It’s not a bad thing unless it is your only source on that type of news. Take a look at the Mashable intro video on the “Follow” service.
One of my absolute favorite news filters is “LinkedIn Today” – which shows you links to news stories that people you are connected to on LinkedIn. For me this means that my friends and connections who share news links on LinkedIn. Most often those stories are precisely the things that matter most to me – news and information on Startups, IT, Social Media, SEO and search and internet marketing. If I have very little time to review the news of the day, I go directly to LinkedIn Today and read the top 10 stories. You can also “follow” sources recommended by LinkedIn, based on most often shared items within your industry. Hugely valuable time saver.
Another favorite filter when I have a bit more time are a few more iPad Apps that I use often. The first is well known and has been called a personalized magazine – FlipBoard, which shows you news that people you follow on Twitter and FaceBook (and a few others) share with each other and their own followers. Below is a video about that tool:
Then there’s a similar tool that works a bit differently, but with the same social sources. This one shows things shared by those you follow on social networks, but organizes them by topic if you choose (and I do). It’s called Zite and it’s how I share on Twitter most of those items I find filed under “Small Business” on WebSite101. Here’s a video on that tool.
Now Bing has announced that they’ve incorporated FaceBook into personalized search results when you sign in to Bing with FaceBook before searching. You’ll see what your friends have “Liked” on Facebook if it relates to any search you do on Bing. That can be very useful if it’s a simple product recommendation, hotel or restaurant review. I love that friends can review products or travel experiences soon after an experience and I can read that only when it matters to me and then pay attention only if that particular friend and I share similar tastes in hotels or restaurants.
We’ve also got Google +1 (Plus One) where you can see that people gave a plus one to a site or product or video (when you have a Google account and Google profile, and are signed into Google before searching. (That’s a lot of requirements and reduces the possible usage). Here’s that video:
Then Google is doing “Social Search” where your friends on Twitter show up if they’ve commented and linked to something related to your search at Google where we can view Twitter comments shared by those you follow on Twitter. Again, you must be logged into your Google account. Here’s the Google video on that:
Now for the video that got significant attention around the personalized news issue by discussing the “Filter Bubble” concept that warns us that we are not getting varied sources of news and that we’re only seeing a biased view based on single sources. That could be true if you only looked at Facebook or only searched at Bing. But if you use multiple sources and pay attention to more than a few sites, you’ve got an incredible opportunity to get broad viewpoints on very focused topics. Still, Pariser has a good point if we limit our views and use limited referral sources to form opinions. This is worth watching…
Pariser wrote a “Filter Bubble” article for the Guardian this week that goes in depth and detail and I’ll be reading his book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You soon.