I had been doing a pretty good job of stepping away from things this past year by taking time off each night and reading a book, often fiction. The activity is a great release, which allows me to step-back, get away, and recharge. I also enjoy keeping track of these books through Goodreads, a social networking site for bibliophiles, despite the fact that my only ‘friend’ on the site is my daughter.
For the past several months the novel reading dipped – from January to mid April I’d read 12 novels, since then zero, though I am working on one now.
The reason? My shift from full-time employee to contract/consultant services professional, which required me to be on the bleeding edge of multiple-areas at once. The way to accomplish this: Google Reader (you can set-up Reader with a Gmail account, which I’d encourage everyone to have).
I’ve long used this product to stay informed on topics of interest, but I used it on a weekly basis, not daily. Reader has a “Trends” button on the left sidebar that gives you data on your Reader habits. I now have 58 subscriptions and in the past 30 days I’ve read 1,299 items and shared 60 of those.
The shared items are ones I don’t want to ‘lose’. These are often ones I will email to friends or come back to read again and take notes. My next evolution will include comments as I share along with discussions with clients and industry experts on the shared items.
For those interested in learning what is of most interest to me, I feed these shared items to the NunamakerInteractive web site (shown below the blog feeds if you are already there). These items are the ones I feel anyone in the social or new media space should be paying attention to as they are critical to either your online success or the direction we may be headed.