April 5, 2008

More Filtering. No not that kind of filtering.

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:04 am

The concept of using your network to filter content (I don’t mean content filtering I mean filtering content…never mind, just keep reading) is a burgeoning idea. The fact that I spend a huge amount of time online need not be beneficial only to me. Like the spies going into Egypt and reporting of the abundance, I can come back with reports of goodness of all that I see, read and hear. Here are  3 simple ways to filter content for your network:

  1. Use your the “Share Feature” in Google Reader.  By simply clicking the Share button at the bottom of key posts, I filter out on average about 1 out of every 400 posts I read. If more people did this, you’d quickly create an easier entry point for newcomers.
  2. Delicious link Roll. While many have added their del.icio.us links on their blogs, I just added a “mustread” tag. I’ll likely add this tag to about 1 in 10 items I tag. The difference here is that I totally control all my bookmarks but with my Reader, I only control my feeds, not every post. While I subscribe to many folks bookmarks, I think adding a mustread tag would be helpful to those with only a passing interest.
  3. Videos I watch. I just recently noticed VodPod on Susan Carter Morgan’s blog which allows you in the same way you add bookmarks in del.icio.us, you can have a bookmarklet to save videos. I do have a favorites list in youtube but this allows me to gather video from a variety of sources. I’ll likely label about 1 in 5 must see. Video is certainly more of a time investment in most cases so it’s likely more I see will be worthwhile.

One argument that continues to surface is that since we live in a publish then filter world, students quickly get the impression that simply posting content online is good enough. I think Sturgeon’s law is fairly accurate: “90% of everything is crap.” Finding the 10% that is really good takes a lot of time. But again, using the same power that allows us to easily publish crap, we can also easily label quality. Sure, it’s still arbitrary, but overall, it’s a pretty good system.

This is all about the power of tagging. As you can see if you’re reading this on my blog, that I’ve added all three of these to my sidebar. I’m trying my best to filter out what I think the best of the best is for me. I realize their are a number of other ways to filter content for your network.

What did I miss? Do you have some other ideas for filtering content?

Image: Seive by James UK

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