Two Ways to Curate Your Life

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This year, the term “curate” came up a few times. Basically, it is the concept of pulling the quality content, or content that is useful, out of the mass of data the world presents us with on a daily basis.

I was doing a little research over the last few days and identified two really good ways to curate information, so I thought I would share them with you all.

One is related to bringing industry information to you and the other is related to what you see on Facebook.

FLIPBOARD

What if you could create a magazine that gave you information that you wanted, and you could pull information from whatever online source you wanted? Would you be interested? Of course you would. What if it was free? Even better! This app, Flipboard, allows you to search for keywords and it returns blogs, RSS feeds, Facebook pages, Twitter users, and more that are related to that keyword.

This is a fantastic way to keep up with the Learning & Development industry. I used the keywords “e-learning” and “performance support”. I found three sources that I like to use and set them as “sections” of my personal information magazine.

Here’s where it gets cool! Because of the way this tool works, you can add whatever other topics you are interested in as well. So, if you like sports, add a sports source or two. If you like to read horror novels, add that. Maybe you have a fascination for shoes or some other fashion style…well, you can add that also.

WARNING! This app can become an over-addictive source and it is possible that you can choose too many sources of information for yourself. Don’t create a new source for masses of unused information.

Here’s a link to the app tour, on their site: http://flipboard.com/app-tour/

Here is a video showing the app in action. This is a “first look” type of video, so some of it might be slightly out of date by the time you try the app.

FACEBOOK – REAL FRIENDS Vs. JUST “FRIENDS”

For me, this is probably the single most problematic source of “overdose” of information. I have 224 friends. You can guarantee that I did know most of them in some manner, at some point in time. Some are family, some are current friends, and some are past friends from my school days. Some of them offer information that I enjoy receiving. Some post those post cards with silly sayings. Some post pictures of their cat, and yet others like to show me what they had for dinner. There are some that like to share their religious feelings every day, and there are others that feel they need to share their political views and opinions. I would say that there are about 10-15% of my friends that put up about 80% of the content on my wall, but what I care about is the other 20%.

I am 100% sure that I am not the only one that has this problem. If I was, these new curation features would not exist.

Now, I can set up whomever I want as an “acquaintance” and their postings are filtered from my Facebook Feed. This allows you to better see those that offer the information you really want, rather than being swallowed by the “noise” of the other postings. And, if you know you won’t be inundated with the “noise” posts, you are more likely to actually use this source of information to keep yourself updated on whatever you get from Facebook.

This is a much better solution than “unfriending” people that seem to post whatever they feel like. Facebook is still a great tool to be able to find and connect with people that are currently or have been a part of your life. “Unfriending” has a rude connotation to it and some people get quite offended when you take that action – even if you don’t “unfriend” them in the real world.

It is real easy to do this and takes about 5-7 minutes of time.

On your Profile page, click the Friends link. You are presented with a list of your friends. Find a friend that meets your criteria for removal and click the big Friends button next to their image. In the shortcut menu that appears, select Acquaintance. Wash, rinse, and repeat for any other friends you want to remove from your regular news feed.

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The time this takes to accomplish is directly based on the quantity of friends you have.

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One Response to “Two Ways to Curate Your Life”

  1. JD Dillon (@JD_Dillon) Says:

    Completely agreed with regards to Facebook. I have unsubscribed from a variety of “friends” due to their overuse of various Facebook sharing mechanisms. With regards to personal curation, I use both Flipboard and Zite (still tend to prefer Zite more). From a manual perspective, I rely on the Pocket app (both mobile and Chrome extension) to save information I find online for later review. I believe curation to be a underestimated/misunderstood skill within L&D and have refocused much of my team’s efforts on collecting and organizing existing information to add greater context for users.

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