The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Reset time

Its obvious we all have the  “too much information but its all good stuff” problem.

It has been driving me crazy and I have tried:

  1. lables and categories in my RSS reader (Google Reader)
  2. watching other sources such as twitter, friendfeed, newsgator, feeddemon
  3. integration tools within gmail using greasemonkey scripts
  4. adding to Google Reader so that I would use the built in search (never happened)
  5. others too many to mention

Bottom line.  If your target is to source and mine information incremental improvements fail, at least for me.  Adding to existing sources just adds to the problem of more data and information.

Then I attended a talk with a colleague and friend Thursday given by Gong Szeto (amazing talk by the way – looking forward to his book) which made me realise its too easy to miss the larger picture.  Gong was talking about stuff and concepts that were not that new, but were not showing up in my Google Reader today.  I realised that I get the majority of daily news that I happen to need from other news subscriptions that I follow daily, but am missing the “bleeding edge” stuff.

So today I deleted everything from my Google Reader … empty.  Then I installed a few that I could remember were important.  I am up to 14 feeds so far.  I had 397 before.  My new target is to stay within 25 feeds.   If i see new ones, then others have to go.  If those 25 produce 1 or 2 decent posts daily then that would be obvoiusly enough to keep me going if I were to read them all.

Today feels good.

Anyhow thats my latest strategy.  I am curious to hear how others deal with information, especially in the financial space.

Written by Colin Henderson

May 9, 2009 at 16:48

9 Responses

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  1. I think we all have this issue and your approach to starting fresh by clearing out your reader was a good idea. Technology aside, I make it a point to go through my Google reader and Twitter page once in the morning and at the end of the day. I star items in Google reader that I know I’ll want to reference in the future and the rest of the items that have been read are removed from my view. No matter what any of our approaches are, this day and age brings a lot of information to our attention and filtering what is not relevant to us is more important than ever.

    Joe Young

    May 11, 2009 at 07:38

  2. I just culled my feeds from ~300 down to ~150. I’m adding a few more, but I’m looking for insight now vs. information. The latter I seem to have plenty of; the former was getting lost in it.

    Dan Dickinson

    May 11, 2009 at 10:34

  3. I´m on opposite side of your post. I think that the problem is not the number of feeds, I have 713 feeds on my reader, but your filters. For example, I have a “bank systems” filter that is my favorite, and I try read all stuff there. So, increase the number of feeds probably will increase my “bank systems” filter information. Create good filters, and after build good categories, and increase the good feeds are some of my strategies to survive, and the way I found your post 😉

    Rogerio Figurelli

    May 11, 2009 at 13:44

  4. @Rogerio … I had a similar ‘must read’ label, but found amongst other things I was missing the stuff in the labels I did not read. But I appreciate the comment, and glad you found the post ..

    bankwatch

    May 13, 2009 at 19:22

  5. @Dan … insight vs information… well said. I am only adding back stuff that is telling me something new. I have news sites where I get all the news I need. Insight, and I might add, context for what interests me.

    bankwatch

    May 13, 2009 at 19:24

  6. @Joe … yes, and yes.

    bankwatch

    May 13, 2009 at 19:24

  7. I too find it harder and harder to isolate the key insights amidst the huge number of feeds I subscribe too. Filters do work to some extent but I also believe strongly that “I don’t know what I don’t know” and often draw inspiration from something that isn’t a direct hit on the areas I follow. Colin, as you narrow down your selections, I’d be interested if you highlight the ones you derive the most value from and am happy to share the same.

    Avi Pollock

    May 19, 2009 at 17:33

  8. @Avi … thanks and I will do that. I have been really disciplined on sticking to my rather arbitrary 25 maximum, and in fact I may reduce that number.

    bankwatch

    May 20, 2009 at 15:13

  9. I think we all have this issue and your approach to starting fresh by clearing out your reader was a good idea. Technology aside, I make it a point to go through my Google reader and Twitter page once in the morning and at the end of the day. I star items in Google reader that I know I’ll want to reference in the future and the rest of the items that have been read are removed from my view. No matter what any of our approaches are, this day and age brings a lot of information to our attention and filtering what is not relevant to us is more important than ever.

    PB

    May 27, 2009 at 02:04


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