“When you’re building a business it’s not so much what you know that will hurt you. It’s what you don’t know that will hurt you the most, so I need to stay up to date on all the latest information. ”Armand Morin
In order to understand the future, sometimes you have to look back to the past. What I’m referring to is RSS Feeds (Really Simple Syndication). Many people think it’s a service from the past, but I still use it every day.
There’s so much technology available at our fingertips. Sometimes we just don’t know what to do. One of the questions that I get all the time is, “how do you stay abreast of everything that is going on in the world and still have time to do all the other things that you need to do?”
Well, the answer is very simple, I cheat.
I use tools in order to do this for me. That way I don’t have to do the impossible task of trying to do all the research myself. By using the correct tools, I can understand what is happening in just a few minutes by just glancing in a couple of different places.
The first tool I use is called Feedly. I use this as my primary way in order to stay up to date with everything.
This tool allows me to utilize RSS feeds. An RSS feed is attached to many different places or sources of information. For example, almost every blog has an RSS feed. The reality is that it doesn’t seem like a lot of people think about RSS feeds anymore; it seems to be a forgotten source of information.
This RSS feed allows me to get the information from a blog and import it into a “feed reader” that allows me to glance at my convenience, at all these RSS feeds.
As an example, I follow 238 different RSS feeds or different websites that are specifically about WordPress because WordPress is one of my interests and I follow the technology related to it.
I also follow another 50 RSS feeds that are just about technology—new products and new services that come out. I have another bunch of RSS feeds that are businesses that are for sale. I follow them to see if there’s something I want to purchase or something that comes up that might give me an advantage if I buy that technology.
I use these RSS feeds in order to make my life easier.
In total, I follow about a thousand different blogs every single day. I have to be honest; I don’t actually read a thousand blogs. What I do is glance at the article headlines across these sites.
As an example, as I write this, I’ll click on the business for sale section of my RSS feed.
Here is a sample of what I find—South Jersey water conditioning service, Newport bedding service, an outdoor living unlimited service, an environmental company, a cleaning company, a gymnastics company, etc. None of that excites me, but every once in a while, I’ll find something that sparks me to stop and actually take a look at it.
As I am looking today, there are not a lot of software or technology companies for sale, so I’m really not interested in it. I did see one that said, “thousand-dollar real estate iOS application.” I kind of like iOS applications so I’ll mark it to come back and read it later when I have time.
Here’s another one that catches my eye. It says, “Bulk SMS Marketer Software.” I like SMS Marketing and I like the idea of software because I can market software so that is also one
I would mark to look at later. I find a few more that interest me…a ranking software, a firewall software, etc.
So, I just quickly scan through the headlines looking for something that sticks out and catches my eye. In fact, for this example I scanned through 505 RSS feeds in less than two minutes. Once I go through the list, I mark them as read so that I don’t waste my time going through them again.
I then move on to the next series of feeds that I follow. I will do the same thing there. It takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to go through the 1,000 or so feeds that I follow.
I guess you could say this is my geek technology news of the day. Some people need caffeine first thing in the morning; I need my technology fix. Anything that excites me is set aside to look at later when I have a few minutes such as when I’m taking a break.
This is how I can keep abreast of technology and other news that’s important to me without getting bogged down searching for it. I just have Feedly deliver it automatically.
I’ve accumulated these specific RSS feeds over time. Many times, I’ll go out and I’ll see if there’s a bulk list of technology RSS feeds. If I find a new list, I’ll take them and import them into Feedly and add them to my technology category.
For example, I imported a list of several hundred WordPress RSS feeds all at one time. I think it was like 252 or something like that. I get notices whenever one of those gets updated inside of Feedly. This way I go to one spot and get all the updated information.
All these feeds are designed to do just one thing—keeping me in the know about things that I need to know. Many times, I need the information for myself and other times I’m learning for my students because I know that they may have questions about this topic. I keep abreast of the latest information so that I can give them the answer when they come to me.
When you’re building a business it’s not so much what you know that will hurt you. It’s what you don’t know that will hurt you the most, so I need to stay up to date on all the latest information.
I’m sure you see the advantage of utilizing RSS feeds so let’s look again at the tools and what’s involved with keeping up with them.
Feedly allows me to aggregate all the RSS feeds that I follow.
Then I start adding my RSS feeds. I can add them one at a time, or if I’m visiting a certain site that I really like I’ll look for their RSS feed. If it’s a WordPress site, just key in the name-of-the- website.com/feed and that is actually the RSS feed. Obviously, you should test it to make sure.
If you don’t know an RSS feed address, you can search online for RSS feeds. You can do a search on something very general like RSS feed groupings. But that will come up with many things you have no interest in. For example, “103 must follow feeds in science culture design” or something even more general, “One hundred best RSS feeds to follow.”
You can do a search for very specific RSS feeds. For example, you could use search term such as…
- Grouping or listings of technology RSS feeds
- WordPress RSS feeds
- Marketing RSS feeds
- Advertising RSS feeds
These more specific terms should give you better results. For this article I searched on, “marketing RSS feeds to follow” and one of the results was, “75 top marketing blogs to make your RSS reader fat.” I like that one so I would click on it and take a look to see if these are any good. If they have something I want to know more about, I’ll go from there.
As I scroll down in this search listing, I found another group of hundred and one of 25. I can load these all into Feedly and aggregate all these different RSS feeds. It allows me to buzz through a lot of information very, very quickly, and it makes me feel almost superhuman.
But unfortunately, the reality is I am normal, just like everybody else. The difference is I find some cool tools that I can use to make me seem and appear smarter than I really am. The secret to success is just being able to read information at a very fast pace using Feedly and using a whole lot of RSS feeds.
RSS feeds and Feedly enable me to appear like I know everything that is going on. Now you know my secret; I am no longer as mysterious as you once thought I was.
I consistently use this system every single day. You should start to use it too. It keeps you up to date, especially on competitors, new technology, and new information that you need to keep abreast of to make sure that you know what’s going on all around you.