Tag Archives: linkedin

Project Reboot – September Check-in

It’s been about 6 weeks since I started Project Reboot and I thought I would check in and let folks know how things are going.

Task Management

I’m still rocking the Evernote solution I decided on. I’m still not using it as consistently as I would like but I do find it easier to use it than some of the other solutions I’ve used in the past. I did sign up for another solution a couple of weeks back to check it out but caught myself before going to far down that rabbit hole. It’s the common problem of “productivity porn” and I’m still working on not falling into that trap.

Social Media

So far I’ve managed to keep this from ruling my life, I’m still trying to iron out all the wrinkles though. I’m not living in it like I use to and I’m not constantly trying to keep up with it either. I spend very little time with Google+, facebook is limited to just family and friends (and then only once, maybe twice a day max). LinkedIn and Twitter are seeing more emphasis but between the two I’m only dropping about an hour or so.

RSS

In my last update I mentioned that I was going to tackle my RSS backlog and look at my options for keeping up with it. The first thing I did was look at my feeds and realized that there were a number of them that were either not updating any longer or I wasn’t reading so I decided to drop those. Then I looked at the remaining volume and found I had a couple that were being updated so often everything else was getting lost in the mix. I nixed those as well as I found I was reading only a few articles out of the whole feed – I can go to those websites for that (they are topic specific or series).

The final decision I made was on the reader. After giving it some thought I decided to roll my own with Tiny Tiny RSS. Does it have all the features of Feedly or the now defunct Google Reader? No. Does it give me what I need without the fear of being shut down or the need to pay to use it? Yes. Okay, there is a mobile app that costs $2 but at least it’s not a monthly subscription.

Email

Along with the need to bring my RSS under control I started work on email. I know I’m not as bad as some but I’m averaging about 1200 inbound emails a month to my main account so it needed attention. The first thing I did was switch the bulk of the mailing lists I’m on over to digest mode – instant reduction. I’ve also been going through and unsubscribing to those that I no longer read or no longer want.

One of the changes I’m working on is to move to other forms of communication where I can. Obviously phone calls work along with text messages and I’m using both where I can – going to try and push more folks to using those along with messengers and direct messages through Google or Twitter (check out this post recommended by Greg in my last post).

My Office

I’m not talking about my work office or the office I have as Secretary for the Masonic Lodge I belong to, I’m talking about my home office. The best way to describe it – controlled chaos. Most of the time I have to move something to get to something else or have to go digging for hours to find it. So, while I was on vacation the last couple of weeks I’ve been spending a few minutes here and there to try and eliminate some of the chaos. I know there are those that would say I’m doing it wrong, that I should block a few days, empty the office and then ‘rebuild it.’ Wasn’t going to happen. I wanted to actually enjoy my vacation and, to be honest, emptying my office wasn’t going to work as you need somewhere to put it all. So I’ve been scanning (storage in Evernote), shredding (that whole security/privacy thing), tossing out (yeah!) and rewiring (zip ties anyone?) – it’s a work in progress but as least now I have a bit more open desk space and don’t trip over something every time I get up.

Things are far from complete, some of the things I still need to iron out:

  • My social media policy
  • A clean up and refresh of the blogs I work on
  • Tools – make some decisions and get rid of the rest

I also need to finalize what constitutes the completion of this project (and put a date on it) as if there’s no criteria for completion it’s really a process not a project.

Project Reboot – Two week update and RSS feeds

Newspaper_Feed_add_256x256So two weeks ago I officially kicked off my Project Reboot, a project where I’m looking at the various aspects of my life both on and off line. I know it’s only been a couple of weeks but I thought I quick update would be a good idea.

Task Management – This was my first area of focus and I decided to make the switch and use Evernote for all of my task and project tracking. So far the results have been mixed. To be honest it’s still a bit early to tell as it’s a new setup for me and any new system will take time to iron itself out.

Social Media – A little over a week ago I tackled this part of my life and I think the results have been pretty good so far. As I suspected I ended up doing very little with facebook and LinkedIn as I paid a bit more attention to what I was doing on those two networks.

For Google+ I ended up uncircling about half of those that were in my list. The result was interesting, the number of folks that had be circled really didn’t change, in fact it’s gone up a couple of ticks since then. The posts that I’m looking at seem to be a bit more in line with what I would like to read and there seems to be a bit more interaction now.

Twitter was by far my worst network and while it goes against what many ‘social experts’ would tell you to do I nuked my entire list. That’s right I unfollowed everyone. For the most part it happened very quietly, I had a couple of responses and after pointing back to my blog post things continued on as normal. I’ve have about 20% of those following me leave but again I’m seeing a bit more interaction now and my twitter feed is definitely easier to review.

I will say this about twitter – use lists. While I may have unfollowed a lot of folks I have many of them on a list and check out what’s being posted frequently and I’m slowly starting to follow some of them.

This week’s challenge is RSS (really simple syndication). I don’t follow a lot of feeds but I’m looking at almost 1600 unread items – seems a bit out of control. I have been using feedly but as I’m going to be evaluating things a bit I’m going to test out The Old Reader and see how it goes.

Is there an RSS reader that you prefer?

Time for a Social Media Scrub

By Informartica8vo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsIn my initial post about Project Reboot I listed social media as one are that I was going to focus on and I figured I should dig into it sooner rather than later as it is an area that has gotten out of control.

(A word of warning, I’m going to use one set of terms for things here for simplicity. Please feel free to substitute the appropriate term for any given social media platform.)

When starting out I went through periods where I followed everyone, followed no one, unfollowed some, followed others, toyed with lists, alerts – you begin to get the idea I think. My social media engagement is far from optimized and I often find myself questioning the value of it.

Social media is a very interesting beast, there is no right or wrong way to do it – there’s the way you want to use it. Keeping that in mind I’ve decided to create a guidelines that I’m going to use going forward.

1. No more platforms (for now)

It’s easy to get sucked into the latest and greatest, that new shiny object, the killer platform that will the be death of facebook. For the foreseeable future I will not join any new platforms, nor will I evaluate them. I know that this is a rather drastic standpoint to take but if I don’t, I’ll continue to look at and join other networks which I may not be able to maintain going forward – best to cut to the quick and be done with it.

2. Focus on my core four

This is a follow on to item #1. I belong to a number of social media platforms and while I don’t intend to cancel my accounts with them I won’t be focusing on them. I’m not going to be looking to build networks there (at least for now) but will continue to use them in a reduced manner. The focus going forward will be my core four – Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and facebook.

3. Be more selective in who I “follow”

On some networks this is an easy thing to do as I was selective when I started using them, others, not so much. One I hit the reboot switch on this area (more on that in a moment), I’m going to force myself to ask the question, “what value is this person going to add to my life?” If I can’t answer that question in my own head I won’t follow them. That’s not to say the individual won’t go on a ‘watch and see’ type list, or a list centered around one of my areas of focus, I’m just not going to commit to the relationship right now.

4. Engage more

It’s a simple statement, and a bit vague to be honest, so what do I mean by it. I’m going to work on sharing a bit more, as Guy Kawasaki says, “act like NPR.” So expect to see a bit more from me concerning items of interest to me which I hope that you’ll also find interesting. Will there be personal updates sent out? I’m sure there will be, it is a social platform after all.

I’m also going to work on being better at responding to those that choose to reply or comment to what I post regardless of platform. In the past I haven’t been as responsive so I’m going to be working on that.

So, with those guidelines in place it’s time to get things under control. Since I’m focusing on four different platforms each will have it’s own ‘reboot instructions.’

facebook – I’ll start with this one as it’s my smallest network. When I began using facebook I made the commitment I would use it to connect with those I went to school with along with family and friends. So far I’ve been doing a pretty good job at keeping it that way. So for the reboot I’m going to review my list of friends and create a list for each distinct group so I can share things more appropriatly if need be.

LinkedIn – I’ve been on this network longer than any other (joined in 2005) and like my facebook account I’ve always been a bit more critical about who I connect with. The number of connections here is quite a bit larger than facebook but I’m going to take the same approach here – review and trim. I’m not expecting to remove connections but you never know, I’m also going to review my group memberships and the email settings (getting a bit too many from the system lately).

Google+ – This is the last network I joined and unlike the twitter and facebook I had a tendency to circle folks without necessarily looking at what they posted – good to build up what’s in your stream, bad if you’re looking to get value out of it. The nice thing about this network is that I did try to organize circles so sorting through things is a bit easier. So for this network I’m going to be uncircling a number of folks – not because I don’t like you but you might not fit in with what I want to focus on right now or you might not be using the service and you’re in a circle because you are in my regular contact list. I’m also going to look at the communities I’m in to determine if I should stay or go as well as look for ones that fit where I’m going.

Twitter – I saved this one for last because I tend to share the most on this network (at least lately) and it is also my largest network where I’m following about 3700 folks. At one point I was in that mode of “it’s all about the numbers” and worked the system to build a larger following (about 4700 folks right now). As both numbers grew the amount of just plain junk in my twitter stream has grown to where I sometimes can’t see any real content and feel I’m missing out on things. In this one case I’m going to simply wipe the slate. I’m going to unfollow everyone and then slowly determine who to follow. The nice thing about twitter is their list function, you might be in a list and I’m seeing your tweets but I may just not follow you.

One final word about this part of my project – it’s already underway. I know others that have done these types of things and given their followers warnings, not me. I’m going to just dig in, putting out warnings, asking for folks to contact you to stay connected are in my mind just ways of stalling. This post is enough of a stall for me.

So there it is, in not so small of a nutshell, my guidelines and reboot instructions for my social media setup – how do you keep your social media life in check?

Image by Informartica8vo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons