It's not easy to know what is worth reading in social media these days. As technology makes it simpler and simpler to create content, the predictable problem this causes is that people who have no business creating content are doing it with abandon. Do any Google search that returns more than a million search results and you'll easily understand the downside of this phenomenon. So in this world where this is more and more content being created each day, how DO you figure out what is worth reading?
Here's my easy four step process that I have recommended to more than one small business owner struggling with the same problem:
- STEP 1: Start with a popular aggregation site. Thankfully there are many popular sites that are aggregating some of the best content on various topics together in one place. You are already reading one such aggregation - the Amex Open Forum site is an excellent collection of some great voices in the world of small business. Aside from this site, you could also visit AllTop - a site from contributor Guy Kawasaki which has aggregations of blogs on just about any topic you could imagine, from Geology to Recession. Global Voices is another such aggregation that focuses on bringing content together based on region of the world. By starting with sites like these you can get a single place to look at lots of different content and follow only the links to the content that you find most compelling.
- STEP 2: Create an RSS Feed Reader account. An RSS reader is simply a site where you can set up your own personal account and choose which blogs and content you would like to follow. Google Reader and Yahoo!'s Reader tool are among the most popular - and each allows you to subscribe to blogs to add to your reader. By having a single account you can add new blogs as you find them and have just one place where you can always go to in order to see the latest posts.
- STEP 3: Follow the Blogrolls. Most blogs have a list of other blogs that they also read or recommend. As you start to identify blogs which you find interesting, you can look at the lists of blogs that they read to get ideas for other blogs you may want to check out. Chances are, some of the best blogs will continually reappear on many blogrolls, so you can also use this as a metric to determine which blogs may be worth looking at further.
- STEP 4: Subscribe to your favorites. What many blogs also allow you to do is sign up to get the latest posts from their blog by email. While I may have hundreds of blogs on my feed reader, there are only a handful that I subscribe to in order to get their latest posts directly by email. No matter how busy my day or week is, I am always on email - but may not always check my feed reader. As you start to uncover your favorite blogs, you may decide that you never want to miss a new post from them and subscribe to get their updates by email.