Near the end of November, 2010 I was introduced to an emerging online network called! I ran into it while following a Tweet with an interesting title which led me to a wonderful collection of information (social networking at its finest)! While the name of this site has been great fodder for inside jokes about sifting nuggets from the Internet – it has proven to be a very handy tool.

Scoop It Logo

Those of you that know me personally understand there are very few topics about which I don’t have an opinion; my coworkers’ inboxes are quite populated with small-ish one paragraph emails with links to articles. I hoped to replace all of these emails and inbox chatter with a couple of magazines. What I’ve found is a great tool that fits my online activities quite nicely.

When drinking from the Internet fire hose, I skim articles to determine general interest, relevance, or innovative perspective; interesting ones become browser links which are revisited to continue evolving the idea. And there’s the problem! It requires not only the browser link (which quickly become unmanageable) plus my sent messages (never been manageable) to remember what I thought or where I was headed when I skimmed the article.

Enter!! is an online curating network – a collection of information from other sources. Participants receive an environment where they can “scoop” interesting articles from around the internet into their own “magazine” complete with images, links, and comments – which they can call and promote as their own.

When I started my! magazines, my strategy included never just posting a link – anything posted to the site was required to include at least a one sentence intro which contained my perspective on the article. This allowed my reference thoughts to be combined with the link to the article and away I went.

Because the purpose of my magazine was to aid me personally, I’ve not promoted my curated content yet I have followers and people who “re-scoop” information I post – social networking at work again.

More recently, I’ve started using it as my “tweet” backing source – my Tweets contain links to my! articles which include my perspective on the referenced article. One problem I’ve had with Tweets is the perception of merely regurgitating links to articles and never getting a good perspective of the source’s feelings about it. Seems I always want to know what that person thought/thinks about the information they’re referring to me.

It’s too early to know if this is impacting the perceived value of my tweets – but the early returns indicate it is. Since employing this tactic, I’ve picked up a handful of new Twitter followers!

There is a method to this madness – stay tuned to the blog as we continue to evolve this tool for Associations, we’re excited about how we think this can help Members communicate.

Feel free to follow my! magazine if you’re interested in what I’m noticing around the ‘net and my thoughts. You can also follow my Twitter feed @SSUJayTweets.

How do you manage your information processing efforts? How do you “scoop the fat,” so to speak? Share your thoughts in the comments below – let’s chat.