Marketing and Research Consulting for a Brave New World
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Our society seems to specialize in choice overload.  I have access to 500 or more channels on my TV, a seemingly unlimited number of radio stations via Sirius, and that is mild compared to the social web.

I have thousands of people I am connected with on Twitter, nearly a thousand on LinkedIn, and hundreds on Facebook.  Many of them are business thought leaders whose counsel and foresight I value but there is too much throughput each day and if I tried to absorb it all my head would explode like a Gallagher watermelon routine!

The business side of me is very active in social media to stay ahead but how do I manage choice overload?

Twitter simplification. There are two things I do.  First, I created a Twitter list of about 40 thought leaders across marketing, media, digital, social, behavioral economics, and research.  Then I created something called “The Joel Rubinson daily” via an amazing tool called which somehow knows how to find the most important links from tweets from these thought leaders and AUTOMATICALLY creates a daily newsletter.  For example today, my newsletter served up tips from Chris Brogan on how to build community, an announcement about and its initial success, and tips from Ken Burns on what makes for great storytelling.

Next, I use Tweetdeck where you can set up columns for standing searches.  I have a column for #mrx, a hashtag that marketing research thought leaders use.  Great links, prognostications, and ideas every day. Today someone posted a link to a National Retail Federation infographic on consumers concerns that will shape the back to school buying season. I also have columns for certain publications that make their fresh articles available. Three I find particularly interesting are @adage @fastcompany @forbes

Harnessing Facebook and LinkedIn. Many I am connected with show up in the news (trade or general business press.)  I want to read anything about them that was newsworthy.  There is a great tool that sends e-mails to me when that happens called newsle. Today, I happened to find an article on the success of the Olympics where Brad Adgate refers to the power of Facebook and Twitter at driving engagement and amplifying ratings.

Good old e-mail. I am selective in what I subscribe to so I don’t get inundated, but a number of free daily e-mails bring me invaluable information, insights, and discussions. Some I particularly like are the following.

  • Retail wire. This is a great community of shopper insights and shopper marketing leaders.  The daily discussion topics are great and the comments are lively.
  • Bob Lederer research business daily updates (example here).  Each daily e-mail has a link to a short video that I find very informative.
  • Smartbriefs.  These are great newsletter compendiums.  I subscribe to the MMA (must know about mobile), IAB, and social media.
  • Research-live.  Great news source on the marketing research and analytics business
  • Various MediaPost newsletters.  You have to separate the factual wheat from the opinionated chaff but these e-mails still provide valuable knowledge and news about breaking media industry developments.
  • Google alerts.  Set up a few daily alerts on topics of interest to you.  They often integrate news from sources I didn’t go to before so there is a wonderful discovery aspect to these.  Also, if you are an active blogger, as I am, you can set one up on yourself to see pickup of your content.

As I created this list I realized that I am too busy to go to websites and pull information.  In a time-starved world, push approaches become very important, for all of us, I suspect.

Anyway, these are some of my daily briefing tricks I wanted to share.  Please comment on this blog to share coping tools that are important to you.

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2 Responses to “Tools that will help you manage social media information overload”

  1. You forgot RSS feeds and a news reader to use to follow them. Sure beats actually visiting most websites regularly. I use Google Reader extensively.

    • Joel Rubinson

      thanks Howard. For some reason, I never look at my RSS feeds but that is just a matter of personal habit.