This week I gave a talk on personal curation tools at the Training Journal conference. It was a short session (30 minutes) and the aim was to get delegates on to their phone to set up a couple of tools that can help curate information from the web. Here are the slides and some commentary on what I discussed.
To set the scene, I outlined what I meant by curation, and that is:
Gathering, sense-making and sharing information for a defined audience and need.
And then outlined the three characteristics of curation, which are: the mindset, skillset and behvaiours. My talk focused on the skillset and in particular the skill of finding useful information.
Finding reliable, relevant information is easier said than done. I shared a couple of slides from the latest Edelman Trust Barometer looking at who people trust as well as the impact a loss of trust in the media has had on how we perceive information. The reality is that, despite information abundance, people mare finding it harder to know who and what to believe. This has big implications for business professionals too.
I also included a chart from the Barclays Digital Development Index that shows the low confidence levels of British adults in researching and evaluating information online. Combine this with a rising distrust of information generally and a clear picture emerges. And that is that it is hard to find quality information online and many people don’t feel confident in the skills needed to do so.
This brought me to the aim of the session – to get people familiar with a couple of tools that can help find good information. Those tools are Twitter Lists and Nuzzle.
Twitter Lists are a great way to organise your Twitter feed into discrete topics and areas of interest. Creating a list requires you to search out people on Twitter who might a) know what they are talking about and b) share information that might be trustworthy and useful. Once you have a list you can easily access and scan that topic and share it with others. You will quickly find out if someone is worth following by the tweets they share.
The second tool I discussed was Nuzzle, an app that provides a stream of the links shared by people you follow on Twitter (and Facebook). I find Nuzzle very useful as I am interested in the links people share – what they are reading and what they find useful. Follow some good people on Twitter and this tool becomes very powerful. I also mentioned Twurly, which works in a similar way to Nuzzle but instead provides you with one email a day of links shared by the people you follow on Twitter.
Finally, I shared a tool that I am starting to explore and that is Stoop, a curation tool for email newsletters. It provides you with a unique email address to use for signing up to newsletters. You can then use the app to manage (and source) newsletters.
It’s really important to try out these types of tools because they can help you quickly access better information. The challenge then is to make the time and create the habits and routines to read and understand what your feeds are telling you.