Monday, 24 June 2013

Keeping up with the Tools of Your Trade

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Keeping up with the latest tools

Keeping yourself updated with all things Social Media can be tricky as new media apps/ideas/things become available almost every day. New strategies proliferate every hour and everyone thinks they hold the next big thing!  No wonder it can be scary. current is about three different components: Keeping up with the newest developments, experimenting with digital tools, and learn as much as you can.

Keeping up with the latest tools is about finding tools that will curate information so that you can easily access and process it. You might be surprised, but this tool is the (relatively old) standby, RSS. RSS, or real simple syndication, was developed to deliver information from the web to people who subscribe to that information. For example, most blog sites are equipped with RSS feeds which allow a user to subscribe to the blog and have the blog material delivered in a variety of formats. 
Use the RSS reader in Google Reader to manage your subscriptions so that you stay up to date with the most current research and trends in digital media. Though there's a catch. I find the process of logging to access the content to be a little clumsy on mobile devices. Two tools that make that simple. Reading blogs on the iPhone, the Feeddler app is a great resource for you to manage the blogs and podcasts that you plan to read or listen to. The app alerts you when there's new posts to read and you can quickly scan through the titles of the posts to see which ones capture your interest. Second, If you prefer to read posts in a more magazine-like style, especially on my iPad. In that case turn to Flipboard.  Flipboard takes the RSS information puts it into a visual display like a magazine that you can scroll through by turning pages and clicking on articles to read the most recent updates.

Both Flipboard and Feeddler use Google Reader as their source of information, so all of the material that you read on any of these three tools syncs with the others. Therefore, when you mark items that you’ve read in Feeddler, they are also marked as "read" inside Google Reader and Flipboard. I also find it valuable to be able to share an article using Feeddler or Flipboard through Twitter, email, or other vehicles that allow me to connect these articles to my followers, customers and colleagues.

Experimenting with digital tools

Try experimenting with all the tools out there! “the ones you think look interesting or can help your business” especially the FREE ones. And through experiment you will find tools out there that will help you and often become valuable time savers. Experimented with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, Storify, MindMeister, Goanimate, Audacity, and a variety of iPad and iPhone apps, to name a few. All will hold invaluable tools, which help and make your work much easier.

Starting off

Most people start with the big three facebook, Twitter & Pinterest with LinkedIn being the professional users choice, which can reach millions of business people across the globe. I would recommend the three above to start off your business and experiment with the tools that they all offer, gain confidence with the sites and navigation systems they have, once you have accomplished these you can go on and add many more to your portfolio, which in turn widens your audience – all good. It can be mind blowing and there will be obstacles to overcome, but believe me it is worth persevering, just work through at your own pace otherwise you can overload! 

These strategies are my ways of keeping current with the changes in digital media technology and the way it affects my business. We are all learners no matter what age you are especially in this digital world of ours, I’d love to hear about the ways that you stay current – all comments welcome after all we all learn from each other. 

Happy tool hunting! 
Mike Beveridge  Check out Social Media Success FaceBook Page for more topical stories

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