in Opinion

Why (and how) I share 300-500 links per month on Twitter and other channels

Since February 2009 I have read more than 300.000 items in Google Reader, how much more I don’t know, since Google just provides me with a 300.000+ number. Every month I read some between 10.000 and 15.000 items with two main goals:

  1. Use the information I consume to enable me to do my job better and to increase my knowledge
  2. Provide the items that matter with other people who don’t have time to read this number of items each month but could also benefit from this information

To accomplish the second I share somewhere between 300-500 items in my Google Reader. However since not everybody is in Google Reader I use ifttt.com (If This Than That) to synchronize my shared items in Google Reader with my bookmarks on Delicious (now more than 11.000 bookmarks).

From Delicious to Twitter

I use my bookmarks on Delicious as basis to feed my Twitter account with links I collected and these are posted via dlvr.it with at least 30 minutes in between on Twitter. First of all to prevent overload (10 items in one minute is a bit much) and second of all because many people are following me on Twitter because of the information flow and I want to keep it flow and not an overflow.

Blogging and emailing

For people who are not on Twitter or not on Twitter that often I use the feature of Delicious to post the collected bookmarks to my link blog (for about 830 days), so people can have a daily overview on interesting links. Since I used to do a weekly newsletter with 10 top links many people were used to receiving a set of interesting links via email. I stopped doing this newsletter, since it was too consuming for me to keep up the quality. However due to popular demand I have enabled an email subscription to my link blog so people can receive a daily email containing the links I collected that day.

So why so many channels? Because over the years I have noticed that many people are different channels and that one channels doesn’t fit all. For some channels I got explicitly a request to create it (such as the daily email newsletter), others were started as an intermediary to feed other channels (such as Delicious). Though overall there is hardly any overlap, and that is mainly because I dislike noise. Of course there a few people following me both on Google Reader, Delicious and Twitter, however these people seem to have found a way to manage the duplication.

Do I achieve my goals?

Do I get to my goals? Yes, goal 1 is easy, since that is just me and yes I enjoy consuming the information and I have the feeling it helps me to do my job better, to get a better understanding and in some cases to get in touch with people who are creating great content. Goal 2 is harder to measure, though I do it through dlvr.it since they provide statistics on the links I shared. Each month I receive somewhere between 10-15k clicks on my links, which is for me an indication that quite some people do click the links.

Of course it is only a fraction of people who follow me who click the links (5-10%), though I think it still a good performance. Also every now and then when I am at a conference or another place where I meet people in real life who are connected with me on social media I often get the feedback that they appreciate my links and encourage me to keep up the work. This appreciation is a great driver for me to continue this.

Let me know what you think of this way of sharing information and if it is usefull for you. And if you got a good link, do share it with me.