I have a confession to make. I’m one of them. One of the elusive Gen Y, part of the tribe that’s pretty much been on the Internet since I turned ten. I love technology and everything it brings. I not only spend most of my day on social media but I’ve also made it my job. Yes, I’m one of those.
I’m also a nerd/geek or whatever word you’d like to use. Always have been. I’m fascinated by learning new things and you can often find me devouring yet another book or article, whatever I can get my hands on. I have no particular interest in biochemistry and often find it even boring yet I’ll spend an hour listening to one of my friends talking about his cool project. Cambridge tends to foster that sort of environment. And so does the Internet and social media channels.
But it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available out there.
I’ve got my RSS feeds from tens of blogs that let me keep up with the latest industry news as well as anything else I might be interested in. I get recommendations from friends on Facebook, sometimes I stumble upon something interesting just by pure chance.
And then there’s the big one: Twitter
I’m currently still following less than 400 people in my Twitter account. That may not seem that much yet it means almost constant bombardment by interesting and often useful insights, jokes and links. And those links are ones that I want to be able to get through. I want to follow the conversations that are taking place on Twitter and I want to be able to make sense of the hundreds of recommended resources and blog posts that appear in my Twitter feed every day.
This is not unfiltered information. Despite the feeling of overwhelm, these are exactly the sources of information that are most helpful. They have been filtered by someone I trust or consider an authority. It feels like I have hundreds of personal mentors, ready to share all the best information they’ve come across with me.
Yet as with everything in this world, not all links to outside information have been created equal. I need a way to distil the most important pieces and have them presented in a format that makes the most sense.
That’s where Mixero comes in.
Mixero is a desktop (and iPhone) Twitter application that organises my Twitter feed in a way that truly makes the most sense.
Here are some of the reasons why I heart Mixero:
- Mixero lets me organise my Twitter contacts into groups (that are local to my computer/username) – I have a group which congregates feeds from designers, another one with social media industry news, a local one for my Cambridge-based contacts etc.
- I can add all or only certain groups to my “Active List” – a left part of the screen where the Twitter feed appears
- I can specify different contexts – maybe I want to read about social media at work and about cooking at home
- It lets me easily save searches for terms, groups of terms, or hashtags.
- I can get instant information about any user right within the interface.
How do you deal with the overload of information and what tools have been most helpful to you?