I’m often asked by people how I integrate all the feeds, apps and social media platforms that I do into my world? I don’t think I’m that unique, when I look at others I ‘stalk’ online, but I suppose I may come across as a little unusual to most. This then is my attempt to give some insight into what it is that I do each day with regards to my role as ‘human aggregator’.
Firstly, what is a ‘human aggregator’? I give myself that title very cautiously. There are others out there given this title who make me look like a complete light-weight. On a Google search, Robert Scoble (aka Scobelizer) comes up in the top 3, and next to him, I’m simply not worthy : ) Let’s start with Wikipeda. They don’t have a definition for it : ) The closest they can do is a ‘news aggregator’.
Aggregators reduce the time and effort needed to regularly check websites for updates, creating a unique information space or “personal newspaper”. The aggregator provides a consolidated view of the content in a single browser display or desktop application.
So it’s a way of creating a space in your world, where the information you usually go out and find/read, automatically pulls itself together into one space. It’s built around what you want, how you want it, and when you want it. I’d define a ‘human aggregator’ as someone who’s interests you like, and instead of doing the work yourself to find the information you want, you just follow them. That means that they’re creating a space and spaces where they’re constantly putting information out there for others to consume.
Using those thoughts, the majority of people, who are on platforms like FaceBook and Twitter, are ‘human aggregators’ of sorts. You put information out there, and people follow you to access your information.
Back to this ‘human aggregator’…….
I still haven’t streamlined my world to the degree that I’d like to have. It’s still a little messy and I have multiple apps and platforms I’m using. But my iPad has become my most used device in this part of my world.
My day starts on my iPad. Cup of coffee, back into bed and I open up Early Edition. It’s cost $4.99 on iTunes and is simply an RSS reader that displays your feeds in a Tabloid format. I love the look and feel. It updates each day’s feeds onto my iPad so I can read them off-line. I read somewhere between 15-20 posts each morning, and directly from the app, I aggregate the posts I like. I send most of them to my Twitter feed, e-mail them directly to people or send them to Instapaper to read later.
While I can Tweet directly from Early Edition, I prefer to use HootSuite. Hootsuite (free for iPad and iPhone) allows me to post-date my tweets. Even though I don’t tweet all the posts I read, it would be extremely annoying for anyone following my feed to get 8 tweets in a row from me. So I stagger them throughout the day.
Instapaper is one of my most used apps. Instapaper is a repository for articles you want to read later. If I’m reading an article that I can’t give sufficient time to in the moment, I send it to Instapaper. You can get Instapaper for your iPhone, iPad (lite and heavy versions), and you can access it through your web browser on your computer (free). Because all of your information sits ‘in the cloud’ you can post it from any device and access it from any device. Instapaper allows you to move articles into folders, and you can even share your favourites with other people, and them with you. And you can send articles out to Twitter, FaceBook, via e-mail and a few other platforms, from within the app. Hootsuite, Twitter and SimplyTweet all have links to send to your Instapaper account, so it’s really well supported and integrated with so many other apps.
AUDIO AND VIDEO
I consume audio and video media on my laptop. For whatever reason I’ve just not made the switch to my iPad for these channels yet. If I find audio and video on my iPad or iPhone then I upload the links to Evernote, which (as I described above with Instapaper) synchronizes with the app on my laptop.
I listen to audio mostly via my iPod or iPhone. So it’s PodCasts using iTunes to download and arrange. Video is through a web browser. I use three – Safari, Chrome and FireFox. I use FireFox if I want to download a video to watch it later. There’s an add-on in FireFox called Video DownloadHelper, that allows me to download most types of video online.
When I’m creating audio and video and I use two different apps. For audio I keep my PodCast feeds updated with PodCast Maker. It’s an app for my laptop I found a few years ago, and I’ve never found anything easier or better. For video it’s YouTube, and then linked to one of the blogs I write for.
And that brings me to the final link in my world of aggregation, blogs….
Each Monday I post something onto the TomorrowToday blog (you’re reading it now, and thank you if you’ve made it this far down : ). I have a personal business blog that I work really hard to post 3 items per week on. And then there are a few blogs I post to from time to time. My one fave is Jozi Kids.
FACEBOOK AND LINKED-IN
I’ve not mentioned FaceBook and Linked-In, simply because they get updated manually and automatically from the blog posts and from Twitter.
And there it is……… Barrie Bramley, the human aggregator.
Or check out about.me/barriebramley