With as many as 100 million active blogs (web logs) in English alone on the Internet, how can you find and read the ones you need to be a leader in your business domain? I’m a speed reader, but that’s a challenge for even the best of us. Yet we know keeping up with the latest trends and techniques can make all the difference in ensuring that your business stands the test of time.
I’ll summarize below some of the strategies and tools I use to tackle this challenge. But I’m sure there are some good ones I’m missing, so I’m soliciting your input as well.
- Business site expert blogs. Almost every traditional major business news site, like Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, and HBR.org have blogs which are contributed by experts in different business areas. I review these, as well as contribute entries occasionally for entrepreneurs and startups.
- Blog aggregators. One of my favourites in this category is MyAlltop, run by a well-known name with entrepreneurs, Guy Kawasaki. This site allows you to build your own page of selected blogs and news sites from the Alltop selection of the “best of the best.” Other popular aggregators include TheHuffingtonPost and BusinessInsider.
- Follow thought leaders on Twitter. Most great bloggers, like Mark Suster and Scott Edward Walker, are also active on Twitter. That means they send tweets to announce their latest entries, and they usually re-tweet others of value to their followers. You might even get personalised answers to business questions (try me on @StartupPro).
- LinkedIn groups news links. There are several popular ‘groups’ you can join on LinkedIn that are focused on entrepreneurs and startups, like On Startups, Founders & CEO Club, and Startup Specialists, to name a few. They feature news links daily from popular blogs, and well as relevant discussion topics. I’m there every day.
- Facebook for Business news links. Similar to LinkedIn, Facebook has a group for business topics, which also includes daily blog news links and discussion topics. I review news there, as well as posting my own link occasionally.
- User generated news links. Digg, BizSugar and Hacker News sites populated by user contributed links, who want to share their favourite item. These then get voted up or down in popularity by other users, so the hottest ones bubble to the top. I quickly found that ‘most popular’ doesn’t mean most useful, so use with care.
- Community bloggers platforms. There are now several platforms, like Bloggersbase and Brazen Careerist (for Gen-Y) where bloggers can post or repost articles, categorized by area of interest. If you are a budding blogger, these are a place to start, and even earn ranking points if voted up by other readers.
- Bookmark favourites. Every browser has a simple way of tagging favourite URLs, so they can be accessed quickly from your own browser. Other sites, like delicious and StumbleUpon, go several steps further by allowing access to the list from any computer, anytime, and anywhere. Also you can tag them into collections, search them, and share with others.
- Email subscription. If you like the latest blog entry from your favourite sources, like Seth Godin, to be sent to you automatically via email, it’s still available. I recommend you be very selective on this one, as many blogs will clog even the best email system.
- Blog catalogues. Finally, if you just want to search the universe of blogs to find ones of interest, try sites like BlogCatalog and HubPages. They will help you through the maze, and promote yours at the same time.
We all need information filters these days to find the nuggets of gold in a sea of sand. But I do recommend that you spend some time each day catching up on the real world around you. Otherwise, you are just keeping your head in the sand, and you won’t see the changes you need to survive.
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