Aggregation, syndication and the delicacies of smart knowledge worker workflows ™

Now this has evolved into one hot topic, huh? And so it’s about time to sort, aggregate and systematize my thoughts on the smart knowledge workers workplace and lifestream configuration.

Well, I was blogging about my personal workspace before, and that post and this one have blurring boundaries. See there for my general setup, my choice of browsers et al. Here it’s about processes and ways to channel and refine content.

I got triggered by various posts and inspirations – one being recent posts by Robert Scoble (on what it needs for better content curation), Louis Gray (on how he proceeds with sharing content), Steph Booth (on why she likes Tumblr and how it fits into her lifestream), Andi Gohr (on his lifestream configuration) and Mac Slocum (on how buzz can be perceived as hybrid blogging). Other inspirations include people asking me on buzz how I share links (Christian, yes!), why I continue to use and enjoy buzz (DT, yes!), and how I refine the contents I share.

All this made me compile this post to share some of the tweaks and lifehacks I have chosen to tailor content I share, how I get a grip on the topics myriad of people whose work I am following et al. Basically most of these tweaks are in place to avoid needless redundancy, ie. channels get selected depending upon content (and audience) – hoping that the stuff I share to different platforms will be interesting (or valuable at times).

So here’s the basic setup:

Complicated infographic, yes. So let me explain: Basically I am depicted in the middle (ie. the neat frogpond logo) – and I am busy filtering, refining and curating content (from the top down to the bottom).

Most of the things I am learning on the web reach me via RSS – and in my reader of choice, the Google Reader. Currently I am subscribed to +1000 feeds, including podcasts, Tumblr feeds, a ton of blog feeds, searches and everything – all sorted into folders (yes, these folders have varying importance to me, you sure believe me when I say that the _fun folder is less important and funny than the _e20 folder, will you?). Moreover the Google Reader is the focal point for all the recommendations I am subscribed to, ie. the Google Reader items my buzz contacts and friends are sharing (top left). This is the lions share – and you will understand that I basically live and breathe by RSS.

Other sources of inspiration and content include my buzz lifestream (now following 400 people) and my twitter lifestream (following roundabout 1600) – and the usual suspects, ie. mail, skype, IRC, Google Talk, telcos, talking to actual people, working with customers et al.

All of this – remixed, refined and reworked – gets pushed out via various channels again, the easiest being my delicious bookmarks (bottom right). I am bookmarking and tagging a lot – yet, I must confess that not everything I hamster is public. As of today roundabout 75% of my bookmarks are marked private – I bookmark them so that I alone can find them again, come time. The 25% of my delicious bookmarks that I think are interesting to share in public get spliced into the main feed of frogpond by Feedburner.

Then I am blogging – in WordPress blogs here and there. Mostly I am pretty happy with generic posting, but sometimes it’s more convenient via Posterous, ie. via frogpond.posterous.com. This Posterous blog also allows for manual autoposting to my tumblr, a range of self-hosted internal collaboration wordpress blogs (my interpretations of a linkblog and an aggregation site), to Facebook, to Friendfeed and even to delicious. Heck, I could even tweet directly from Posterous …

All of the posts that make it to my regular blogs are syndicated to Google buzz – which in turn is feeding Twitter (via the Feedburner socialize solution, employing Pubsubhubbub) and Facebook (via Twitterfeed). Notice that I only feed native and generic buzz to Facebook, no @-Replies, no Retweeting, no redundancy, no nothing. And no, it’s not because I like Facebook and I want to keep it clean and easy. It’s more the other way round – if you want to interact with me you better use the spaces I engage in, ie. buzz and to a lesser extent Twitter. No point in aggregating my replies into Facebook when nobody there knows why I am replying ..

Ok, onto buzz – you notice it’s bigger than the rest (hey, almost as huge as Google Reader …). This is for a reason: I just love the platform. And I use it daily. Via mobile access or via old-school generic usage. Daily.

Into buzz there goes
a) generic buzzes – say I want to macroblog a link or an image or, err a tweet
b) my GReader recommendations (GReader is linked with buzz, ie. every time I click on “recommend” in Reader the item gets added to my lifestream)
c) all content I share via my secondary Posterous-Blog buzzpond (this is directly linked to buzz, while frogpond.posterous.com ain’t linked).
d) content from my blogs
e) all mobile (picture) buzzing and all public Flickr additions ;)

Now I should elaborate as to why buzz has hit a nerve with me, but I will keep this for another post …

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18 Responses to “Aggregation, syndication and the delicacies of smart knowledge worker workflows ™”

  1. assbach says:

    that reminds me of my attempt to show the daily communication-noise surrounding me :)
    http://assbach.posterous.com/daily-noise-in-numbers

  2. Martin Koser says:

    @Sascha yep. You know I didn’t include them legions of wikis, Google docs, Backtype comment feedback loops and image and/or video sites. And these are only the sites we use …

    So I guess somebody regular would be 1. perplexed and 2. thinking of us as “madmen living off and generating noise” ;)

  3. Martin Koser says:

    @Stefan thanks for RTing. I know and understand that buzz ain’t your favourite, but be assured that I like it for somehow good reasons, ie. open standards, the web as platform, and overall, it being a bold & innovative move.

  4. assbach says:

    @Martin … well, we probably are … ;) but, i try my best not to be annoying, irritating, boring and irrelevant each day and not to flood services with crosspostings (not saying you do, i just personally try not to f*ck people off with my sh*t). of course sometimes it makes sense to send links from one network to another because not everyone is in every network and some things we share might be interesting for several kinds of people in several networks… at least that is why i share links on twitter AND facebook AND zootool AND posterous etc… sometimes (not often), because only a few of my contacts read and see all of these and some would miss these if i didn’t – they told me so :)
    sometimes it’s not a question of the tools but the concept. mine is far from perfect i know….

    back to buzz… i will try to think about it again.
    ref: http://www.google.com/buzz/assbach/4EHeNocc68x/schaue-hier-%C3%BCbrigens-nur-noch-sehr-selten-rein

  5. Martin Koser says:

    @Sascha oh, I totally agree, and I try my best to keep the things I share free of redundancy. Some things are duplicates still, ie. if somebody is following on both Twitter and buzz they will see my buzz/tweet two times.

    But I’ve learned that most people are focusing on a small number of networks (Facebook, sigh) and those that aren’t have powerful filter capabilities. If those professionals feel overwhelmed we mustn’t feel sorry ;)

    Oh and re:buzz – great to still have you around!

  6. [...] definitiv nicht nur mit einer internen Unternehmensbrille gesehen werden. Auch der hier skizzierte Workflow geht ja an mehreren Stellen über die Grenze von Intra- und Internet hinweg.Richtig, es geht [...]

  7. Close to adding some thoughts on content analytics :) …auto deployment based on target audience etc….

  8. Martin Koser says:

    @Thorsten yep, check out the discussion that evolved here in buzz – http://bit.ly/cZpdKn – especially the parts around the mix-board-feed-forward tool of the future …

  9. Martin Koser says:

    @Lawrence that’s an excellent question – my personal take is a weakish “it depends”, leaning onto a “no, can’t be scaled (ad infinitum) because it’s so personal”.

    But the right tools (see the buzz discourse too, please) can add plenty of muscle to single curators’ capabilities.

    Then, and probably the task at hand in internal community management, collaboration facilitation et al. is to lay the tasks of curation, community care and so on into the self-organized hands of the community itself? Thus collaborative curation emerges, which may be the answer to questions of scaleability?

  10. [...] Martin Koser erläutert in einer Blogpost, wie er seinen “smart knowledge worker workflow” organisiert. Die komplexe Verdrahtung seiner benutzten Dienste, bei denen Google Reader auf der [...]

  11. Martin Koser says:

    @Cidec / Erwin – nice visualization, but I think it’s mixing up things a bit and you’re missing the point of buzz. This baby ain’t another try to collect and focus everything in one place, rather I think that the vision is something more distributed.

    Let me explain – you ask what happens when strong cluster points evolve on the social web (and yes, Facebook is and it’s a black hole to some extent – contrast this with the extreme of distributed microblogging like status.net – a whole other interpretation of living on the web …). Walled gardens may thrive a while but I see eventually more distributed engagement of users, spreading across the web, and it’s therefore we need open platforms, data mobility and things like “comment syndication protocols”.

    So, and partly answering your question – blogs will stay as a personal homebase on the net. But they will evolve too, adding more open & distributed features like collecting all my comments on the web (like Backtype on Steroids, think Salmon), or acting as a gateway to other places people engage in (see the buzz widget on the right, these days I am writing a lot there …).

    My two cents.

  12. [...] Martin Koser erläutert in einer Blogpost, wie er seinen “smart knowledge worker workflow” organisiert. Die komplexe Verdrahtung seiner benutzten Dienste, bei denen Google Reader auf der [...]

  13. [...] Artikel über die Ordnung der eigenen Social Media Aktivitäten (englisch) [...]

  14. [...] BarCamp Bodensee 2010Well, buzzing a lot prevents me from blogging more – sad truths of an ever evolving digital smarter work knowledge worker’s lifestyle. But then again, other than with Google buzz (and this movie we all know and love) the first rule [...]

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