Knowledge and Firehoses

I remember when I first joined Twitter I saw folks decreeing that it would kill RSS. I'm nearing my second Twitter anniversary and my RSS (Google Reader) is alive and well. In fact, I'm getting more value out it than ever. This conversation suggests that RSS is flawed (hating the info overload) and points to an article about declining visits to Google Reader.

I remember those same feelings of info overload until I came across Harold Jarche's Personal Knowledge Management (also see this presentation): creating a specific system that takes advantage of the firehose of online info. Learning goes up, info overload goes down.

Here's my PKM in-a-nutshell:

  • Twitter for serendipitous finds (news and otherwise). Tweets I want to do something with (read later etc) get favourited.
  • Google Reader for blogs I follow. If I left it up to Twitter I'd miss their posts. I curate my feeds, vigilant about keeping the number low and try to use the one in/one out rule if I add someone new (I'm sitting at 66 feeds today, reading about 1500 items a month). I do most of my G-reading on my phone, so posts I want to read more in depth later get starred and those I want to share get shared. I’ve even added specific people’s Twitter feed to my G-reader to keep close eye on what they’re saying.
  • Delicious is my online brain. If I want to refer to it again then it goes in Delicious. I take time each week or so to go through my favourited Tweets and shared & starred items in Reader to add them to Delicious and Twitter via Amplify.
  • I also use a blog to keep track of all the books I’ve read and my fave excerpts. My Kindle has made this even easier.
  • Sharing happens through Twitter and Amplify for mini-conversations. My newest share platform is my second blog, where I synthesize various ideas and add my perspective.

Do you ever feel overloaded by online information? Ready to give up on Twitter or Google Reader? Maybe give PKM a try.