Filter Failure and Educon (old post)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Uncategorized
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(post from my old blog Feb 15, 2010)

One of the sessions I attended at Educon was facilitated by Lisa Thumann and Liz Davis and titled Managing Filter Failure-Getting to the Good Stuff. I knew that was a session with my name written all over it as soon as I saw the title. You can read Lisa’s summary of the session here.

So, before the session I was thinking that I was having a lot of trouble doing anything with all the stuff I find out there on the interwebs. After about 10 minutes, I realized that pretty much everyone is having trouble with all the information out there. Good to know I’m not alone and that in fact I am in quite good company. We shared the frustrations and solutions or partial solutions we had each come up with so far. I didn’t have much to contribute on the solutions end of things. There were a few people who had it all worked out, or presented it that way at least. I am not sure if they were aliens or some-sort of cyborgs or what. But they certainly weren’t people I knew. I think that of those few, many had independent-consultant or self-directed jobs.

Well, I got some ideas about systems—and I love a good system (see previous post). I heard about a few tools to help, some new, some note (see Lisa’s summary again). And really, I already had a perfectly reasonable plan that I could implement and probably get a lot out of. But, the more I think about it, the more I think the problem is not my system or lack thereof. The problem is me, my attention span, and the time I have chosen to give over to real reading, digesting, and reflecting on what I find online.

Let me explain. I look at a lot of “fluff” on line. By fluff I mean stuff that I look at and then delete-street fashion blogs, photos of shoes, fluff. It’s nothing tawdry or unpleasant, but I consume and move on. I’m a visual person I collect information by looking at stuff. The problem is that I have expanded the kind of information I collect online but not changed my sorting/filing/organizing habits, which really means I haven’t developed any since I didn’t used to need them. I still frequently come to digital info expecting it to be bite-sized, easily digestible, not needing a lot of attention. WRONG. Duh! I know. But now that my PLN is more digital than paper, I have to change my habits. It’s not that there aren’t plenty of ways and tools out there to help me organize myself and my pieces of information, it’s that I’m not coming to the task in the right frame of mind.

So, I’m thinking it’s time to turn over a new leaf, or snowflake. Will this be easy and solve the entire problem? No. But, I think it’s the right first step.

Here’s my plan:

  • Pick a day to go through all the things I have starred or tagged as favorites from Google reader, twitter, etc.
  • Use diigo to tag info as “to-read” to get everything in 1 place
  • Try actually to read some of that “to-read” info a few times a week, then tag or delete (just like I do with the fluff)
  • Try making diigo my home filing place
  • Not get upset when it doesn’t work the first or second time
  • Keep my job while doing all this

I will have to count on what Lisa said in the session, “the good stuff rises to the top and comes around again.” I certainly hope so, because as I expand my PLN and find more and more information, conversations, nings, people, and ideas the task is only getting harder.

(I won’t link to the old comments since they are all spam with links to sneaker sites.)


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