How to Know Whatever You Need to Know—All the Time

By Mike Elgan  |  Posted 2015-12-29 Email Print this article Print
Your News Dashboard

You know how to find information about your company, industry and area of specialty. But do you know how to make that information find you? Here's how.

Click on the orange Feed icon that comes up on the search, and then click on the New Feed Item. In the box that comes up, paste in the URL for the RSS feed you'd like to add to Twitter and click on Create Trigger.

Next, click on the giant word "That." Type the word "Twitter" into the search box, and then click on Post a Tweet and Create Action.

Do this for every blog, Website or information source you're interested in that has an RSS feed.

Step 6: Add Google Alerts to your dashboard account.

Google Alerts is one of the Internet's best resources for having very specific information sent right to you. It's a regular Google search for content that will be posted to the Internet in the future. As soon as resources that match your Google Alerts search criteria are posted, they'll be sent to you.

While most users have Google Alerts sent to their email addresses, you're going to create an RSS feed for each Alert and feed it into your news source Twitter account via IFTTT.

Click here to go to the Google Alerts site and type your search query into the box. This is just like a Google Search. You'll see results below after you enter the search.

You can refine this search now and in the future to make sure it's not delivering useless or irrelevant content by adding search operators. For example, you can add a minus sign in front of a search term to make sure results containing that term are not included.

After adding your search terms, click on the Show Options drop-down menu. The last option on the list is called Deliver To. Click on that and choose RSS Feed. Change any of the other options if you want to refine the search further, and then click on the Create Alert button. The search will be added to your list of Alerts.

Click on the RSS icon, which is a dot with two curved lines next to it. Copy the URL in the browser address box, and then use the instructions in Step 5 to add these Google Alert RSS links to your news source Twitter page.

Step 7: Add Reddit subreddits to your dashboard account.

One of the greatest resources in the world for crowdsourcing very obscure new information is Reddit. Here's how to find the perfect Reddit pages (called subreddits) for your areas of professional interest and add them to your news source Twitter account.

Go to the Reddit Website and use the search box to find the perfect subreddits. Check the contents of those subreddits to make sure they include the kind of information you want flowing into your dashboard.

Go to the first subreddit you want and simply add .rss to the end of the URL in the address box of your browser. (The .rss follows the final slash in the subreddit URL.)That's all it takes to turn a subreddit into an RSS feed. Copy that RSS URL and use the instructions in Step 5 to feed it into your news source Twitter account.

The Care and Maintenance of Your New Dashboard

Now that you've got this all set up, you can watch your dashboard on the desktop and on your mobile device. The facts, information and details will automatically roll in as they're posted online.

The real secret to success is to constantly tweak all the information sources. Add new ones as you discover or think of them. Modify or delete the news sources that are wasting your time with fluff or redundant information.

Finally, whenever you encounter some chunk of information that you didn't see on your dashboard, hunt down its source and add that source to your dashboard system.

By creating and maintaining this powerful information dashboard, you'll be automatically alerted to every relevant fact about your profession.

You'll find yourself in the incredible position of knowing everything, all the time.


Mike Elgan, a Baseline contributor, is a Silicon Valley-based columnist, writer, speaker and blogger.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters