News & Info Siphoning For Noobies


Glass SyphonNo doubt about it, the Internet has become SO vast with SO many resources and choices to gather information that it is an understatement to say its Information Overload.  The good news is there are effective ways to filter the information you want and skim past the terabytes of data that doesn't interest you. 

You always hear that the movers and shakers of the world are the ones that are "In The Know".  The "In The know" people become the hubs that the masses connect to when searching for useful information.  It doesn't matter the industry, it doesn't matter the platform, the "In The Know" people are flocked to from the ones that "Want to Know" about whatever the subject or topic is. 

So how do YOU become a person "In The Know" besides going to the local library and using the Dewey Decimal system to find a book written 10 years ago on the subject? (I am pretty sure that libraries are using computers now to locate books, that tells you when the last time I went to the library was ;-)

 Depending on how wide you want your search to be and there are some simple ways to have the information you want directed right before your eyeballs when you are doing your normal everyday routine (You may have to adopt a few things INTO your routine but they will be minimal).

The First Place To Start

The first place I would start would be at the opulent marble filled courts of a little known company called Google.  I use iGoogle.igoogle logo  iGoogle is the starting page I use whenever i launch my web browser.  This isn't a new concept, its been around a long time, Yahoo offers a similar service as does AOL etc.  But since 1999 I have been using Google services because I still think they are the "Bees Knees" and I love how they integrate with one another.  I will elaborate on the myriad of integrated services on another post, THIS post is all about finding useful information fast and easy and iGoogle is definitely a great way.  See this screen capture of my launch page.

This Is MY Info Hub

Screen Capture of my iGoogle Page

This is my little hub.  The image may be a bit small so let me explain what we have here.  On the left under the heading "home" is a navigation with links to all the news items on the current page. News items display the three most recent posts from any given site.  I am following TechDirt, SlashDot, Wired, PC World, Fast Company & Rocket Boom, to name a few. When i see a headline I like I just follow the link and become enlightened.  Part of my morning ritual is to comb through email with coffee and check out the posts that interest me.

You'll see Venice on the right, that is a gadget that displays a new picture of Italy every time I load the page.  I spend so much time on the computer that I need to keep things from looking the same everyday otherwise I get bored.

You will see up top left i have a gadget serving up my 5 most recent emails from my gmail account.  Keeps me up to date without needing to log in.  Of course I check the local weather as well as to other locations of interest.

So this is my first point of contact to the outside world of news I am interested in.  What I like about it is it's coming to ME, I am not going into Google to search for it and THAT makes a real difference in time saving.  I am going to come back and add more to this post.  There are other simple ways to mine data but everything in moderation, now its time for some English Muffins '-)

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