Podcasters aren’t one-dimensional social media types. We also read and write blogs, participate in social networks, follow hundreds of RSS feeds, contribute to wikis, and send Twitter messages. In short, we have an insatiable need to keep up with and to share the latest and greatest online content.
But how do we manage this never-ending flood of information while also staying both productive and sane? This presentation will offer you a road map.
Photo by Bob Goyetche.
Bob Goyetche: I’m Bob Goyetche.
Mark Blevis: I’m Mark Blevis. This is special edition coverage of Podcasters Across Borders 2007 on the Canadian Podcast Buffet.
Bob Goyetche: This episode is brought to you in part by TD Canada Trust. Stay tuned to the end of the show to find out how you can get a free iPod.
Mark Blevis: Podcasters Across Borders 2008 is taking place in Kingston, Ontario, Canada June 20th through 22nd. Stay tuned to the Canadian Podcast Buffet and keep watching www.podcastersacrossborders.com for details on registration, accommodations, speaking sessions and all the amazing socializing that’s part of these great events.
Bob Goyetche: So let’s keep going with Podcasters Across Borders 2007 and our friend Bryan Person from Boston telling us how to “Manage Your Social Media”
Bryan Person: So you guys have been sitting down for a bit, so I’d like a little physical movement here. So if everyone could stand up to start. And then you’ll be sitting back down. So, okay, everyone can stretch and get their exercise here. So I’m going to be showing some different tools of social media. If you use them, you can stay standing. If you don’t use them, you can sit down. And once you sit down, you can’t get back up, okay? Anyone have any questions on the rules? Okay, so if you use Facebook you can stay standing. If you don’t, you gotta sit down. Okay. Not too many. How about Twitter? If you have Twitter, you stay up…yeah, you kind of have to use it…yeah. Okay. So how about…that’s meant to be blogging or podcasting or you use RSS somehow? FeedReader, okay. We’re all podcasters so that’s good. Google? Okay. How about video blogging? Okay. Who’s left? Let’s say producing? Yeah, producing? Okay. Who’s left? How about Wiki’s? Who uses Wiki’s? If there’s one thing you don’t use, you have to…once you sit down, you gotta stay down. And I think that’s it. So who do we have left? Okay. So you guys, I think are the most overloaded people here perhaps. So pay attention. Alright, thanks guys.
And there’s more right? So there are more things that I didn’t even mention. We have Flickr, we have Blogger, we have Technorati, we have LinkedIn, Remember the milk. Does everyone know what Remember the Milk is? It’s a way to manage your to do lists. In Skype, in jicoo, in Second Life, and then there’s Libsyn and FeedBurner for your RSS feeds. So there are all these kinds of things commanding our attention. And what happens is you feel like this some day’s, right? Information overload. And I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts and hearing on podcasts in the last few weeks people talking about there’s going to come a breaking point. We’re all just gonna crash and burn like this guy and disappear and go away because it’s just too much information to manage. And I think for some people, that is the case. Others, we try and come up with ways to manage all this information that’s coming at us.
And so how do we cope? So this is me, this is your resignation letter, right? Giving up. So we could do that and you could quit your day job and that would probably make it a lot easier to read all your feeds and do all your podcasting. Be great, yeah. I’d like to do that, but I can’t…what’s that?…yeah, I don’t know. The other one is, imagine if we didn’t have time to worry about, no hour hand there, no second hand. So that would make it a lot easier too, wouldn’t it? Okay. So this is in being an ethnocentric American, I’m going to give you an American road map to all of these, to managing some of these tools, so. The first thing I would say here is you really have to make some hard decisions, right? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can use all these tools every single day and be effective. So I make choices. And this is roughly what I use so, these are my essential tools and my new media tool kit. So everyday this is kind of my routine. And I think having a routine is helpful in getting through these kinds of things. So I start my morning. I check my e-mail. Some people don’t advise that, but that works for me. So I check my e-mail. Then I check my Twitter messages. See who’s saying what and follow some of the links, read that quickly. And the same with Facebook, see what Facebook messages I have. Then I use my RSS reader so I go into Google Reader and I read those. That takes me probably 20 – 30 minutes to kinda catch up on that if I can. Then I go through my calendar. What are my to do’s for the day, right? So these are kind of basic things, but I do them every day in the morning. Its part of my routine and that helps to make sure that it gets done.
Other things that I think are helpful. Wouldn’t we all like to work in this kind of environment? It’s about there are times when you have to eliminate the distractions. Donna Papacosta is sitting over there and she was telling yesterday “I’m a writer and my e-mail is on or my Instant Messenger is on and these things are coming at me, I can’t get my writing done”. And I think a lot of us…I know I can be the same way. There is a tendency to be addicted to the distractions, right? So you have to have times in the day, probably not all day ‘cause that’s not very realistic. But here have to be times when you can block out your distractions, close your door, shut down your e-mail, shut off your IM, turn off your telephone. Whether that’s an hour, two hours, to get some really solid work done.
On the other side of the coin, Ben Yoskovitz. If you’ve heard of him, he does a blog on productivity. I thinks it’s called the “Instigator Blog”. He says when you find yourself getting distracted and you start answering some personal e-mails, you start watching a video, that’s your goof off time. So if you’re going to goof off, go ahead and goof off, right? Take your twenty minutes, watch your videos, play solitaire if that’s what you do, do a little IMing and then close those down and go back to your work. Tagging, right, Mark? How many posts are there? How many Flickr photos are there now on PAB2007? 500 or 600. How many of you use RSS readers here? How many of you set up custom tags? Two? If I say set up a tag for PAB2007, who knows what that is? Who doesn’t know what that is? Okay. I wish I had internet access. I couldn’t get in on my computer to show you how it works. But basically you plug this in, whether it’s a person’s name, whether it’s your company, whether it’s you competitor. You put in a search term or a key word, you put that in to say Technorati or Google Blog search. And you find all of the results on that particular tag. You put it into your RSS reader. And so I can go to one place and it will list in a nice long list for me a view of all of these photos from PAB2007 on Flickr in one place. So I don’t have to know, I don’t have to go to Mark’s website and Bob’s website and Mitch’s website and Chris Penn’s website to see all this. It all comes in one place into my reader. Much easier to manage.
Same thing with Mark Blevis. So I can see all his blogs posts, I can see his Flickr photos, I can see his audio podcasts. Anything that someone has tagged with the name Mark Blevis will come to one place. And that makes it much, much easier. Now this is, in talking about RSS readers, going back to where I said you have to make tough decisions. Can you guys just give out how many feeds you subscribe to, those of you that use RSS readers? Anyone have less than 100?…100 to 200?…more than 200?…more than 300?…more than 400?…You have to make…and now right? So now let’s say those of you that have 300 and now you’ve met 50 interesting people this weekend. So now, are you going to go and add all 50 RSS feeds? Now you’re up to 350. Okay. Bill’s going to do that, right? So, yeah, you have to make some decisions again about, do I really need to subscribe to this person’s feed. Or you subscribe to their feed and you realize I haven’t checked…I haven’t checked their blogs in a month or I meant to read it but I just don’t find it that interesting. Unsubscribe from it. You don’t have to tell them, right? Just take it off. And limit the amount of information that’s coming into you every day.
And the other thing, too, is give yourself permission if you listen to podcasts, it’s okay to skip someone’s podcast. You can miss an episode and I don’t think they’ll be too offended. I think we feel attached, right? When we really know people and we’re followers of their content we want…we’re invested in them and who they are. And so we want to listen to every episode but, you know, sometimes you just can’t. Skip it, go on to the next one. If there’s something important and someone’s talking about it, you can always go back and listen. But more than likely, you’ll be okay. So, the reason I have Robert Scoble in the recycle bucket and being environmentally friendly, we recycle and don’t just put it in the trash, is a guy named Kevin Dugan. He’s a PR blogger. He says that he doesn’t…he used to subscribe to Robert Scoble, but then he stopped because there were enough other people talking about anything that he wrote, so. And how many posts does Robert Scoble have in a day? 10 or 15 or 20? So if something is important about what Robert Scoble is writing, he’ll see it in his network. So whether you’re using Google Reader, whether you’re using Blog Lines, whether you’re using Net Vibes, make some decisions. Who can…who in that list can you take off and make it a more manageable list for you?
Now next point. Trust your network. So these guys are part of my network. There’s Mitch, he spoke this morning. If there’s something important going on in the digital marketing space, I’m going to find out about it from Mitch, right? He’s going to put it on his blog, he’s going to talk about it in his podcast. This is Mark Blevis down here. You guys know about him. Mark’s going to tell me about everything that’s happening with PAB, everything that’s happening in sort of the new media community in Ottawa or Toronto or Montreal. Mark’s going to have that information. So I can find out about it from Mark. Chris Brogan who was supposed to present with me today, is not here. And so I get the stage myself, thank you Chris. Chris is big into online communities and also video. And I don’t watch a lot of online video myself. But I know if there’s a good one, Chris is going to tell me about it. This is my network, part of my network that I’ve helped to build up and that I trust them. So I trust that they’re going to be the curators for me to find what I miss on my own and to let me know. So that’s really important, trust your network.
And another one is to capture your information when you’re away from your computer sometimes. So if you’re working at the medieval fair in the summertime and a thought comes to mind that you want to capture. Maybe you don’t have a piece of paper. Here are a couple of services that you can use that are pretty helpful. How many of you podcasters have used or have heard of K7.net? How many of you get audio comments through K7.net? How many of you leave yourselves messages through there? A few of you, right? I do. I’m driving on the road and something comes to me and I want to remind myself. You can argue the wisdom of using the phone when you’re driving, but I’m not going to do that. So let’s assume that we do that. It’s a little easier to speak into the phone than probably to write while you’re driving, right? So I leave myself a short 30 second message. And it comes into my Inbox when I come in during the day and then I can add it to my calendar. Or if there’s a person I need to e-mail and follow up.
How about Jot? Who’s heard of Jot before? Does anyone want to say what it is?…yeah…and what do you think of those transcriptions? Yeah, there are guys in India that are transcribing these 30 sec…you can leave a message up to 30 seconds, either for yourself. You can also send it to anyone else. So if you’re…you import a bunch of e-mail addresses from your gmail account and I can say I want to leave a message for Julien Smith. And I’ll send him a 30 second message and it’ll be in his box. But the point here is you can leave yourself a quick reminder, quick audio reminder and it’s really helpful when you get in to start your work.
The other thing is be prepared to step away. This is obvious, right? Shut your computer off, put it to black and just step away, go out, enjoy the beautiful outdoors. And then you’ll come back with a little more, being a little more refreshed. So those are my main tips, and main suggestions. And I want to kind of, at this point, open it up to questions or comments or you guys talking about some of the ways that you manage all this information, some of the things that I might have left out, so…yeah, go ahead.
Audience Member: One of the things that I’ve only started getting comfortable recently with is I have the M-Audio Micro Track. And I do that for a lot of my thoughts also because it could turn into a segment on the podcast, or use it for something else. So I do that. The other thing is I think you need to reinforce the schedule thing. Like when I write, people always say how do you have time to do all that? When I wake up in the morning, Google Reader, check my web stats, hop on Technorati and I’m done. And even if I don’t check Google Reader all day, I still feel pretty informed.
Bryan Person: Right. Google Reader. I switched from Blog Lines to Google Reader a couple of weeks ago and I feel so much more in control of all this information that’s coming in. And it’s the, I guess the options that allow you to manage things and to kind of read more posts more quickly. It’s very helpful, so…Julien?
Mark Blevis: For the privilege of speaking, you must stand up and state your name.
Julien Smith: Number one tip that I can recommend to everyone. First, stop listening to my podcast. Start…you should first thing that you do, do not check your e-mail first thing in the morning. Do something else. Do something else and then do something else and then do something else and then get around to your e-mail. If you start with your e-mail, next thing you know its 11:00 am. Terrible.
Bryan Person: Okay.
Audience Member: 11:00 pm in my case.
Bob Goyetche: Anybody else?
Audience Member: You know, some people just really suck working by themselves at home. And there are some people like Alex and his HTML who’s a guy in Philadelphia who’s doing these things called “The Cream Cheese Sessions”. And once every other week they’ll get together in a coffee shop. And a bunch of people in the new media space and independent workers are getting together and working together. And it kinda keeps everybody on track. Plus you have somebody to ask questions to. Because while you’re at home, I mean it’s just as easy for me to get distracted by the dog comes in and needs to be let out or the laundry or something else. You know, great procrastination stuff. But if you’re an independent worker, managing your time sometimes mean, you know, you can do it by going and being with other people at the same times. And have people to bounce ideas off of and it can be really helpful.
Bryan Person: Great.
Neil Gorman: Neil Gorman from Ology again. One thing that I found, I use Google Reader as well. And there’s times where just life happens and I can’t read my RSS feeds because this and that is going on and I don’t got the time. So what I’ll do is I look at it. And if there’s more than 50 new posts in something, I’ll give it a quick glance. I look for certain key words that are interesting that I want to know. And if I don’t see anything, mark all as read, move on, don’t think about it again. And that’s my rule. It’s the 50 or more rule.
Bryan Person: The “mark all as read” is very liberating for those of you that know how to use it. When…imagine if you’re…sometimes you don’t check it for a day, and you have 600 posts, right? 600 unread posts and it’s my goodness. So I might do the same. I might get half way down and say that’s it, mark all as read. And three hours from now there’ll be 600 more posts, so. It’s okay. Yes.
Audience member: With Jot and K7 they put your phone number in…the calling number that is in there. Set up the filter in gmail with a label that will automatically (a) either archive or put it in a list so that you just have your memos. If you have frequent callers to your show, maybe set up a filter for that too, so that you always have it organized with little labels on the site of gmail for all your voice messages. It saves a tremendous amount of time and you don’t have to hunt for them when you’re doing your show. If you do a show that’s less than daily, you may have it (…) what the heck did I do with it? There’s a label there right in front. K7 memos, press it and you’ve got all your voicemails.
Bryan Person: Right. Yep, filtering in gmail and tags the same way we tagged for RSS is really helpful…yes?
Wayne MacPhail: I’m Wayne MacPhail from Rabble.ca. I’ve just started beta testing a really cool product called “iwantsandy” which is from the guys that do “StickIt”. And what’s really cool about it is it turns your cell phone into a really interesting productivity tool because you can e-mail “Sandy”. Just you give it your personal e-mail address. And you say “remember lunch with Wilson, noon tomorrow”. And it translates that into an icow thing. And then you can tag things like personal or phone numbers or, you know, PAB2007. And then later, off your cell phone, you can just e-mail “Sandy” and say “look up PAB2007”. She’ll send you back an e-mail list with all the information and you can get it back. So it’s like having this wonderful secretary, admin assistant, at hand.
Bryan Person: It’s “iwantsandy”? Okay, great. That’ll be on my list the next time. Okay, more questions or comments…alright…suggestions?
Mitch Joel: This is only my third or fourth question so, I’m keeping track this year. So I actually have a question and this is for Bryan or for anybody. I’m…oh yeah, I gotta stand up…I’m Mitch Joel. Well it says right here, I must be. Basically, I don’t have a big problem with the computer based stuff, it’s the voicemail that kills me. I’m terrible. It’s like somebody will call me and like three weeks later it’s like, oh s–t, I should have called them back. So I don’t know if anybody has any strategies or any…that for dealing with phone and voice stuff ‘cause I’m terrible at it, so anything would be helpful.
Bryan Person: I defer to someone else ‘cause I’m not the best phone guy either so, yeah.
Mark Blevis: Hold on, hold on, we’ll get him to repeat that in the mike. Stand up and state your name.
Audience member: My name is Mark Blevis. What I do is I tell people on my voicemail to e-mail me if you want me to get back to you. And I tell them specifically if they know me, they’ll have my mobile number too ‘cause I never check my office voicemail. And you might as well not leave a message.
Tommy: I do that as well, I’m Tommy from Kingston and Talkshoe.com. I do that as well and tell people right on my voicemail “hey, e-mail is the quickest way to get a hold of me”. I also, when I’m listening to voicemails, I take notes and leave them in an e-mail to myself. So as I’m checking my voicemail, I check it twice a day. And that’s all I check it. I check it in a twelve hour interval and then I take notes and send myself an e-mail. If I deal with it an hour later, or two hours later, or a day later, that e-mail goes unread until I deal with all of those voicemails.
Bryan Person: Great.
Donna Papacosta: Donna Papacosta, Travcom News. I have a very old school solution. You may have heard of the thing. It’s called a paper and pen. And you can get the paper in this little pad. No, I’m serious. I keep this little pad and it’s very small. It’s called the “Big Fat Pad” or something. It’s in the Dollar Store. And I keep it by my phone because my clients…I can’t tell them twice a day. That’s not good enough. So they know that I’ll get back to them in a couple of hours. So I will actually write down “okay, Jay Moonah called, 12:00, blah, blah, blah, what do you want?”. And I won’t…I will wait until it’s crossed off. Like I have to do whatever it says and then I’m allowed to cross it off. But otherwise, I can’t. And the good thing is if somebody says did Jay ever get back to you? I can flip back like through the paper and actually find it. And that works for me. I know it’s a little old school, but it works.
Mark Blevis: How do you do data backup?
Bob Goyetche: Somebody register a papr.com right?
Bryan Person: Any other questions, comments?
Dave: Hey Dave again from Two Boobs and a Baby +. The only thing I wanted to add to that and I just mentioned it to Jay on his show. But if you use K7 and it’s a great service and it’s free, especially podcasters. If you use K7, call it every 30 days. I know it happened to Mark this morning.
Bryan Person: Yeah, I learned that lesson.
Dave: It’s happened to me like twice I think. And you lose your phone number and then you have to reregister and get a new phone number. And if people are listening to older episodes where you’re talking about a comment line that’s no longer existing. And the worst thing is that when somebody calls it you can still leave a message, it’s just you’re not going to get it.
Bryan Person: It goes into a black hole.
Dave: It disappears, yeah. So always…it’s now every time we produce a new show, a new episode, I call myself and just test it basically…yeah, always, always…okay.
Bryan Person: Anyone else?
Mark Blevis: Calling my voicemail line. I thinks it’s been 28 days.
Daryl: Hi, I’m Daryl with Atomic Suburbia. Just on that K7, two things, I…it’s a mike…it’s a microphone, sorry, sorry…with the K7 thing, I lost my first K7 which was…I can’t remember what it was now. But no, that’s my e-mail. I lost it four times but kept getting it back because nobody would secure it. So before you sign up for a new number, check to see if your old one’s still available. And then some real estate agent finally grabbed mine. And do a lot of people get calls from Canadians? ‘Cause we don’t have unlimited long distance in Canada like they do in the States. So all my calls are American. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s just my two cents.
Bryan Person: Great. Anyone else? There’s a hand over here. Do you want to stand up and shout? Over here.
Beth Lawrence: I’m designing and building gardens and this, of course, is the busiest time of year. So on my outgoing message…and it felt risky to do it, but I actually say “I’m deep in the dirt, and it’s going to take me a few days to get back to you” and…
Bryan Person: Great.
Beth Lawrence: And it’s amazing the responses that I get from my customers. They’re like “wow, you really aren’t getting back to me”. And it’s like, well yes I actually said so. And it’s sort of creating that boundary. It was really strange to do it for the first time this year. It’s been nine years.
Bryan Person: And how do you feel about…but how do you feel about that now? I mean…
Beth Lawrence: Well that…the really…the peak is over, so I took that off. But for those three weeks, it did feel strange. It felt like I…like they might get offended or something.
Bryan Person: Great.
Mark Blevis: Time for one more question or comment.
Chris: Just real fast with the K7. Put on your website fax and the K7 number. You’ll get a junk fax about every other day and it will keep your number alive.
Bryan Person: Just to wrap up here. If we’re doing all this stuff well, you remember the guy at the beginning with his head into the computer. You want to feel like this, nice lighting and remarkably calm, drinking a cup of coffee and has all of her information managed. I’m guessing by all the comments here and, you know, questions and that kind of thing, you guys are…we’re all dealing with this, right? So share your…it’s great that you’re here to share your best practices too. So thanks for that. And breast practices…no…not those…okay so, lots of ways to reach me of course, right? Any of these ways, but these are the best ways. Go to my blog or my podcast site and contact information is there. Thanks a lot.
Bob Goyetche: Thanks Bryan.
Bob Goyetche: Thanks to all of the PAB2007 Sponsors: Rogic Podcast Conglomerate, Third Storey Productions, TD Canada Trust, Thornley Fallis, StartCooking.com, Marion McDonald, Don Edwards, Freddie Litwiniuk, Bill Deys and Christopher Penn.
Mark Blevis: Thanks to all of the PAB2007 Sponsors: Rogic Podcast Conglomerate, Third Storey Productions, TD Canada Trust, Thornley Fallis, Startcooking.com, Marion McDonald, Don Edwards, Freddie Litwiniuk, Bill Deys and Christopher Penn.
Bob Goyetche: For more info on Canadian Podcast Buffet you can go to our website www.canadianpodcastbuffet.ca.
Mark Blevis: For more information on Podcasters Across Borders visit that website www.podcastersacrossborders.com.
Bob Goyetche: To contact us you can leave us a voicemail, area code 267-220-3701 or our e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Blevis: Of course you’re welcome to join any and all of the Rogic forums including the Canadian Podcast Buffet forum, the Podcasters Across Borders forum, and there’s a link to that at www.rogic.com/forum on the Canadian Podcast Buffet website.
Bob Goyetche: Canadian Podcast Buffet and Podcasters Across Borders are proud members of the Rogic Podcast Conglomerate.