the marketing bus these days runs on content. useful, relevant, frequently updated content. great in theory, but the reality of generating that kind of wordpower on a regular basis can be and commonly is a challenge. even michaelangelos and tom edisons need occasional inspiration, right?
dan ronken and his buddies at pullnotpush marketing shared some ideas on getting the creative juices flowing by using delicious bookmarks as a “holding tank” for topics they might want to write about. I thought I’d share a similar system I use that keeps track of potential blog ideas, keeps them in front of me, and provides short-form content creation.
at the core of the system is google reader. I have written about how to set up google reader or a similar rss client in the past – this post builds on that one, so if you are not familiar with newsreaders and rss, I suggest you start there. I subscribe to around 50 different feeds that produce around 200 or so posts each day. all of these are collected in one place, making it relatively simple to skim through the headlines. I star those items that interest me.
stars make the magic happen
when I star an item, the magic starts. I have created an rss feed with my starred items (instructions below). feedburner, which I use to manage subscriptions for this blog, offers the ability to deliver rss feeds via email, so I use that for the starred item feed I’ve created. the result is a daily email containing all the items I starred the previous day.
I might have a particular use in mind for some of the starred items. I email those items to myself to highlight them.
gmail offers a labs feature called multiple inboxes. I use this feature to keep my inbox empty-ish without losing track of items I need:
note the arrows to the daily summaries, the circled items are individual articles that I email to myself while reviewing the summaries.
presto! you’re in twitter
I use twitterfeed to push my starred items out to my twitter stream. the result? a steady flow of links to articles I find interesting hitting my twitter stream. the distribution is automated, but the content is curated – the only things hitting are ones that I care about.
if you are a google reader user, you probably know that the service includes an rss feed to your “shared items.” I could have used that, but especially now with the advent of google buzz, item sharing in google is kind of a different animal. besides, I’m used to starring and I find it easier to star than to share (whoa, pre-school flashback). luckily, a search turned up a how to stream starred items to twitter post that is much easier to follow than the one I was writing!
how do you stay inspired? share in the comments!
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