Recently, Ves Dimov at Clinical Cases and Images has come up with a great post on How to deal with the information overload from blogs, RSS and Twitter so I thought I would share my thoughts with you about time-management lifehacks.
The main concept is to centralize the flow of information into one or two sites. For me, these are GMail and Google Reader. It means I can control anything I’m interested in by visiting these places online.
How to keep up with Twitter?
I follow more than 1000 users and have more than 1500 followers, so I receive thousands of tweets every day. Here are a few things that save me time and effort.
- I use Tweetdeck and created several groups on Tweetdeck that let me filter useful information (e.g. Health 2.0, genetics, bloggers groups, etc.).
- I check Friendfeed Best of the day because it will filter the best discussions for me (though not all of my Twitter contacts are on Friendfeed).
- Microplaza automatically filters the most interesting discussions and links mentioned in my Twitter community. I get the updates through RSS so it’s quite easy to see what I miss when I’m not online.
How to follow the content you want to track?
- Google Alerts helps me track the content that is published about me, my blog or my service online.
- Twilerts and Tweetbeep do the same but via Twitter. Whenever a Twitterer mentions my name, blogs, favourite search terms, I will be notified via e-mail.
How to write posts fast on your blog?
I often use the Quickpress function on WordPress that lets me write a post from the admin dashboard in just seconds. I always have a huge backlog on Scienceroll so I created clearly defined directories in Firefox bookmarks and tag all the links I save there. It helps me organize the thousands of bookmarks I have and I always get a clear picture of what I should write about.
As I’m working on different computers, Foxmarks synchronizes my bookmarks automatically.
How to work on Wikipedia?
As an administrator, I have some duties, so I built a long watchlist to keep track of the changes in the entries I’m interested in. I also use Huggle to fight vandalism. With Huggle, reverting hundreds of vandalisms and notify vandals on their talk pages take only minutes and a few clicks.
How to use RSS?
I created categories based on priorities in Google Reader. I always know which category of feeds to check depending on how much time I have and whether I’m looking for blog topics or just interesting pieces of information.
I also receive the updates of my favourite Youtube channels, Pubmed search terms and Del.icio.us tags.
And you may also find the slideshow from Joshua Schwimmer interesting
If you have more tips on how to be productive online, please let me know.
The Independent Urologist just came up with some great tips about how to protect your online reputation. I thought I should add my suggestions to the useful list:
Be patient. I had 15 readers a day in December, 2006. Now I have 1-1500 visitors a day. It takes time and effort (I wrote almost 1000 posts in 2 years).
- Have your own website, even if you are part of a group.
Create a LinkedIn profile and manage your blog properly (e.g. construct a nice about me page).
- Link your blog and website.
Google loves self-linkage… Build your page rank professionally.
- Publish articles, such as review articles, in medical journals and periodicals.
Summerize your ideas in Google Docs and collect your favourite links on Del.icio.us so it will be much easier to write a proper review later on a specific subject.
- Post comments on other peoples blogs and allow them to post on yours.
Be fair and open to new ideas. Join respected groups like the DNA Network or contribute to blog carnivals.
- Get your name in the media via interviews (see blogging and blogging often).
See my Behind The Scenes of Medical Bloggers series. Publish your slideshows and ideas so people will certainly find you.
- Google yourself on a regular basis.
Or use Google Alert to receive automated alerts about who and why mentions your name on the web.
- Contact content providers that allow subscribers to post malicious writings about you and request that that they remove the comments.
- Have a lawyer contact the content services or the offenders themselves with threats of litigation.
Get a HONcode (Health on the Net Foundation) accreditation.
- Seek help from online reputation management experts (yes they exist).
Contact the members of the Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics group or check the service of Webicina.com out.
And here is a slideshow I presented at the Medicine 2.0 Congress about building an online reputation.
I’ve written many posts about community sites created for scientists and medical professionals, but I do not really prefer any of them as they are quite similarly constructed. Labmeeting will be the first service I plan to use actively. Why?
Upload research articles
- Automatically match them to bibliographic records for reference management
- Search the full text of all your PDFs
- Mark them for fast retrieval and viewing
- Recommend them to your colleagues
Browse different streams of new papers
- Stay up to date on what’s in the top journals
- Get notified about papers relevant to your research
- Collect the articles that interest you
Manage a lab webspace
- Post articles for journal club
- Share protocols and data in a group notebook
- Ask questions, give answers, and schedule events
I have dozens of online projects (Second Life, two medical blogs, two blog carnivals, Wikipedia, etc.) so I spend quite a lot of time on the web. That’s why it’s so important to be efficient while being online. And the best tool in our hands is RescueTime.
- understand how you’re spending your time
- clobber procrastination & beat interruption overload
- compare your productivity to your peers without giving up your privacy
Give it a try and let me know your feedback.
Joshua Schwimmer, the author of the Efficient MD Blog and the Efficient MD wiki, came up with a fantastic slideshow about life hacks for physicians. According to Wikipedia:
The term life hack refers to productivity tricks that programmers devise and employ to cut through information overload and organize their data.