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Where Art Thou, Precious Content?

Living in an information era can be both exciting and frustrating at times. One of my personal annoyances is the deluge of information I have to struggle through to find some decent content that can take me out of my bubble for a moment. Even the notification feature on LinkedIn fails to make my life a little easier. Other social media will have to do without my contributions anyway. So where can I turn to for relevant content that is not directly work-related?

Boolean search

Seeing that even content shared by renowned organizations such as McKinsey and Gartner is no longer what it used to be, made me reach a point where I am actually about to drop out. Determined not to give in, I decided to spend some more precious time on the internet looking for ways to solve my recurring problem. The results of my tiny little investigation initially filled me with more hope than I had anticipated. It starts with a regular Google search entry supplemented by a so-called Boolean search. This is a way of systematic thinking that allows you to include and exclude certain search results, mostly using extensions like AND, OR or – (minus).

RSS feeds

Another, easier way to hunt out the information you are looking for is Google Alerts. By defining precise search descriptions, you will automatically receive the desired information by email. And then there is the ‘good old-fashioned’ RSS feed which allows you to receive information from a variety of sources via an RSS reader. Feedly, for instance, offers some additional and quite helpful classification features, especially combined with a tool called FeedRinse. A tool called Nuzzel, in turn, is a lot less technical and automatically discloses content that is trending within my own social network.


Another interesting app called Flipboard works in a similar way using certain algorithms to provide you with relevant content from your social media accounts. But how do I know beforehand what is relevant and what isn’t? After all, I want to be taken by surprise, read the unexpected, get carried away by the unknown. I guess I’ll just subscribe to Blendle or some other combined magazines service. Maybe toss in The New York Times and Forbes Magazine and John’s a happy man. Until then, I will ponder some more whether to stick to LinkedIn or trade it in for ‘LinkedOut’. Looking at the number of likes awarded to the average post that passes, I guess I have already made up my mind…

Petrik Cuijpers

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