Paris, VA — As someone whose livelihood depends on aggregating dozens and dozens of news sources, opinion outlets and every variety of information related to politics, the media and health care, I depend upon my RSS feed. And as more than 50% of my consulting work product depends upon writing, i use a four monitor setup to facilitate incorporating various speech, oped and news release drafts into new finals, and essentially using three of the monitors as a palette for words and writing. The words are thus the art. But the fourth monitor is solely for email and RSS.
But since adopting Twitter about six months ago, I have increasingly been shifting RSS feeds to Twitter, and attempting to rationalize how the Twitter stream and RSS feed differentiate, and how they should be different — or whether they even should be different. First, I thought I’d keep Twitter more focused upon personal interests such as music, wine, sports and the like — and keep RSS for “hard news”. Yet, now my Twitter stream has evolved to include many of the outlets previously confined to my hard news RSS feed.
As the bottom line for me is maximizing the efficiency of news and information consumption, I’m considering dumping RSS altogether. The downside is that I despise returning to my office after being out for several hours and having nearly 1000 new tweets to consume, which i believe will be the case if I dump RSS completely. And while using TweetDeck off an iPhone, I don’t want to always be a slave to reviewing the stream every several minutes. If that’s my biggest professional dilemma, I’m surely lucky in the big scheme of things, but it’s a growing issue for my business and info assimilation necessities.
The good thing? I have the choice to work this out as I see fit, and in a manner that best suits my business needs. The bottom line is that the technology is fascinating, and it’s perversely rewarding to figure out the most efficient means by which to consume an ever-increasing volume of information. I have no choice, because the significant competitive advantage my niche communications business holds over other larger firms depends upon it. Gordon Hensley