How are you sharing great content online with people on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter? Automatic sharing through social media can be annoying for your followers IF you don't curate what goes on your feed. First off, I hate the rapid fire sharing some people do, why share 12 posts in just 20 seconds? I hate if you share every post of a certain blog, without even reading it, even the ones that don't make any sense whatsoever! Over the last couple of months, the I've been trying out new ways to streamline my work, my life and the workflow that comes at me on a daily basis. After turning myself into a San Francisco Hipster, starting a new job at Airbnb with the new ways of being productive and GSD, I was looking for ways to continue to share great content. Sharing the content in a way which would not turn off those following me, while being able to curate the stuff that is being shared.
Automated Sharing of Curated Content
The system below here was thought out and created over the course of the last couple of months, where I've been using the content discovery, reading and automated tweeting through Flipboard/Zeit, Pocket and Buffer since last year September. IFTTT is the heart of the system. If This Than That recipes can help you manage the different connection you need to set up between the different tools outlined below here. A number of the IFTTT Recipes I use in this setup are embedded in throughout this post for you convenience.
The different steps to build this automated sharing system for curated content are:
- Use Flipboard to push content into your Pocket app with the easy sharing functionality. More on this below.
- Similarly use Zeit to discover new content on specific topics you are interested in, and push these to your Pocket app for easy reading when you have the time
- Set up simple or advanced RSS feeds, and have the content automatically delivered into your Pocket with an IFTTT recipe
- Set up an IFTTT recipe to grab all your archived articles in Pocket
- All archived articles are pushed into your BufferApp to be automatically shared
- Buffer schedules the tweets according to the schedule you have set up
- Another IFTTT recipe grabs all the buffered tweets, and pushes these into a running log in a Google-doc on GDrive
- If you really would like to push all the content also on your GooglePlus page, you could hook up the IFTTT recipe in 4 to your Hootsuite, which is able to update your GooglePlus page
3 Internet Tools to Stitch the Web Together
1) IFTTT; IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement: If This Than That. The IFTTT App could be the future how the Internet of Things will get stitched together, which might be why the the VC firm Andreessen-Horowitz invested in the company. Other than that I love their service, I really like their socks. I've started to connect the different apps I use online, and now I've even started to use IFTTT for the connections between my iPhone and the apps or devices offline. This way I can switch the lights next to my bed on-or-off through the IFTTT App using the WeMo light switch.
2) GetPocket; Pocket is the way I read stuff which I find online. It's my vault to anything that I come across. Which means pretty much I don't read anything in a browser anymore, as Pocket has dedicated apps for the iPad, the iPhone and the laptop OS. I can easily put content in my Pocket, and read pull up the app when I'm standing in line somewhere. The apps are syncing the content across the different devices, which makes it easy to always keep the list current. With the simple browser bookmarklet, you can even easier put webpages in your pocket to read later. Furthermore the browser bookmarklet adds a easy to add to your pocket link on sites like HackerNews. So when you scan an articles headline, it just takes one click to add to your reading list.
3) BufferApp; Getting tired of the rapid fire tweeting from your friends. Why do people think it's a good idea to send 10 tweets within 1 minute with the content they find interesting to read? Why not spread it over the course of the day? If you agree, then Buffer is your friend. It allows you to spread the scheduled tweets according to a pre-determined schedule. You can hook up your Bit.ly URL shortner, so that the clicks on the tweets are all recorded in one place. Buffer also has its own analytics for Mentions, Retweets and favorites. Here you can see who of your followers has interacted with your tweets. One thing I would like to see from Buffer, is to make these analytics downloadable. These three allow me to optimize the stuff that I read, organize the way I share the most interesting articles with the people I connect with online through Twitter and archive the content I've read over time for future input in posts or analysis.
Where I Find Good Content
1) Zite; the interactive magazine for your iPad and iPhone has slowly become the number one choice for me to discover new content on a topic. Just recently I picked up an interest for 3D printing, where I can easily set up a new interest within Zite to provide me with content. The App becomes smarter based on the way you interact with it's content. And with an easy click of one of the sharing links, you can put a new article you like into your Pocket App. Back in 2011 CNN bought the Zite app, and made it its way to capture data how people interact with the news. Smart move IMHO.
2) Flipboard; for a long time, I was using Flipboard to keep up to date with the news. Now that I have Zite, I primarily use Flipboard to keep current of what my Twitter gang is sharing. Just like with Zite, the articles being shared by the people I follow are presented in a beautiful magazine format, with easy sharing functionality to my Pocket app, to keep my reading list topped off. Check out how easy it is for me to add this post originally shared by Eventup Twitter account, to my Pocket:
3) RSS Feeds; With RSS feeds you can track some great stuff, if you know how to create the right RSS. Obviously, I just can get the latest new blog posts from some of my favorite blogs delivered into any reader, but what better to actually use the system here to get content delivered from any RSS feed into my Pocket reader. Right, you can do that with an IFTTT recipe. Like I have every new blogpost from Copyblogger send directly to my Pocket for later consumption. With some advanced search operators, you can get the latest of your favorite NYTimes newsgraphics delivered straight into your Pocket for sharing. I posted the recipe below here for your convenience. This way, your pocket is turning into a true substitute for the late Google Reader.
Where do I Publish these Content Gems
1) Twitter; My number one social tool is still Twitter. I can't keep myself from not using it, and interact in 140 characters max with the people I follow and who follow me. A quick jump in and out of the stream can give you some great insights, share some good content or keep up with a relationship of one of your industry peers. The way I share the content on Twitter has changed, where I now let Buffer tweet for me the list of blog posts I really liked.
2) Google Plus; There is a big misunderstanding of what Google+ really is, and if people us it. If your friends are not there, and you don't interact yourself with people on Google +, I can understand it seems like a ghost town. Hearing how many active users there are on Google + makes for a lot of eye rolls. However, there are some lively communities on Google Plus, especially the photography vertical is pretty active. No wonder if you know how much marketing Google+ is doing to keep these photographers on the platform. BTW, did you know all the pictures you upload on Google plus have a big chance to be used by Google in their products like Hotel Finder..! Yeah, you should really read the Terms & Conditions before you start uploading your whole portfolio.
3) GDrive; to keep track of what I've shared, I've hooked up the Buffer stream to Google Drive with a recipe of IFTTT. This way, I keep a running log of all the tweets Buffer has placed on my stream, with the timestamp when the tweet was scheduled and when it actually was tweeted, the text and the bit.ly url. Having the running log in a Google Doc, will allow you to analyze the tweets over time, and easily create list posts based on keywords. Just export the Google doc in excel, put some filters on it, and search for tweets containing your target keyword.
The IFTTT recipes you would need:
As an extra added bonus to the system, you could even start pushing those articles you really liked to your Evernote. Just use this IFTTT recipe which allows the system to pull the article from Pocket when you favorited it, into your Evernote.