Managing the Information Stream

It used to be called the Information Superhighway, but really, if information and news is central to your business, it’s more like trying to drink from a firehose. Like everything else work related, it helps to have a process. Here’s how I do it.

I get something on the order of twenty industry-related newsletters a day in my email, counting all the ones both from news media and manufacturers. Do I read them all? Of course not — I skim the headlines and count on my subconscious to pull up the ones that grab me and are relevant to my main personal and business interests. The newsletters from rAVe, by the way, are an important part of that news matrix.

While discussing Twitter and its uses with other industry people at CEDIA Expo last September, I explained that my Twitter feed has become my newspaper: the tweets from the people I follow are my headlines. While the primary focus of whom I follow is CE industry centric, I do follow lots of Tweeps from other industries, including insurance, oil and gas, and Wall Street, but no mainstream media outlets. The reason why is that what’s really important in terms of industry news comes up on my Twitter feed, and none of what I consider MSM fluff. I’m proud to say my Twitter feed is 99.9 percent Kardashian-free. Odds are that if a significant news event happens, such as a nuke going off in the Middle East, it will come up in my Twitter feed, one way or another. I don’t need constant updates of non-events from CNN, etc.

A great deal of my thinking on managing information sources was shaped by Nassim Taleb’s discussion about signal vs. noise in his book Fooled By Randomness. Granted, one person’s noise is another person’s signal, but what matters is simplifying your streams of information, and tuning them in to what really matters to you.