Ann Handley, handles content strategy and development for MarketingProfs.com and its blog, the MPDailyFix.com and has a new personal blog, A n n a r c h y, and writes for Huffington Post. She manages a huge group of writers, is involved in conference creation, and is a ubiquitous commenter on a host of blogs. Here’s how she deals with the flood of information she follows.
BL Ochman: What are the top four or five information tools or sites you use to keep track of information about your business?
Ann Handley: I rely on but 3:
Google Alerts — for both http://www.marketingprofs.com and my own name, as well as @marketingprofs, my Twitter id, and http://www.annhandley.com, my personal blog.
Twitter — Nothing beats it, in my opinion, as a listening device. Great way to keep a virtual ear to the ground about your business and the trends that affect it.
Technorati — Clues me in to what those bloggers are yammering on about…! ; )
BL Ochman: Do you still subscribe to email newsletters? How many?
Ann Handley: I subscribe to quite a few, actually. Can’t say I’ve ever counted them, but probably somewhere slightly north of 50, including all of MarketingProfs own newsletters (of which there are five, as of this writing), as well as most of the industry publications. I also subscribe to a bunch that reflect my personal interests… like Mental Floss.
This is probably an unpopular thing to say to you and your readers, but I admit that I really like email newsletters and emailed content.
Detractors can dis email as so 2006.. or worse… like EARLY 2006, even
BL Ochman How many publications in your RSS reader and how often do you read the feeds?
Ann Handley Well, now that I’m exposed as hopelessly old school in my email newsletter habits…lol… I will also confess that the answer here is NONE. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
I tried to adopt an RSS habit — I really did. But I quickly became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of feeds.
That said, I read a ton of blogs and other online pubs. I just don’t manage them via RSS.
BL Ochman Are you active in social networks? Which ones? How often? Why?
Ann Handley Twitter, for the reasons cited above, as well as its fun “water-cooler” factor.
Facebook. Sort of. I spent my first 6 months on Facebook totally digging it… but lately, I’ve been using it as more of an outpost: a place to stop in every once in a while, and a spot where I can find all my contacts, but not sure much a place to interact. For me, it’s more about having a constantly updating, living, breathing rolodex… but less about daily interaction.
LinkedIn. Again, for me — a place to connect with folks or get introduced to people who I might want to tap for writing or speaking at MarketingProfs, but not so much a place to hang out.
And — within MarketingProfs — we use the interactive bits of Skype (like chat) as a social and business tool. Not exactly social networking, but it’s one way folks within our virtual company stay connected.
Cartoon: Hugh Macleod