Connecting, but not drowning, in information

jcravens42's picture

Info info everywhere. Blogs, press releases, online discussions, news stories... if you work for a nonprofit organization, you must stay on top of all this and more. But how?

I stay on top of my many favorite blogs, news sources, and people and organizational mentions in the news and online with the RSS reader provided in MyYahoo. I also have it configured to tell me when someone comments on one of my photos at Flickr.

I'm still a heavy user of YahooGroups, because it has most of the online communities I need to be a part of professionally. And there are various Web-based online discussion groups I also read -- I created a web page on my computer that links to each of these -- it serves as my home page when I open my web browser, actually.

But technology tools do not create time. I MAKE time every day to read information and participate in discussions online regularly. I put the time on my calendar to read through both emails and my RSS feed, usually in the mornings; I tend to call it "not available" or "in conference" on my calendar. And this is not multi-tasking time; I don't read this online information or participate while I'm in a meeting, while I'm on the phone, etc. I FOCUS. There is no way to retain information otherwise.

To make sure no one questions this use of my time, I put reading online information and participating in online discussion groups in my yearly performance and learning plan. That's something your supervisor signs off on, thereby endorsing this use of your time.