Feedly mobile is fixed!

…and everything is right in my ‘Personal News Aggregation’ universe. For about a week, I was having problems syncing my accounts on feedly and Google Reader and it was really frustrating — especially since it has always worked so well in the past. As you can see, however, my desktop version…

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…is the same as my tablet version…


Nirvana!!! :-D


How to make feedly your default rss reader in Chrome

Do you love feedly as much as I do? Here’s a short 3 minute lesson on how to make it your default rss reader:

Here’s the text to copy and paste:


Of course, you can also subscribe using the Feedly Mini button but if you’re used to using that RSS icon this will help! Questions? Feedback?

Looking for clues at the scene of the Google Reader crime…


Last week, I encouraged readers to keep calm and continue using Google Reader. While I still think that’s good advice, I’m not so sure any longer that Google will be rolling Reader into Google+. Why? I had forgotten at the time that Google had recently killed Feedburner and was not aware that Google had taken the RSS subscription extension out of the chrome Web store.

These three events together point to what innovation expert Tim Kastelle called a ‘shaping strategy’ on the part of Google to coerce people to publish and share in a way that Google wants them to. Tim commented “I definitely think that they’re following a shaping strategy – though I’m not sure about whether or not killing RSS actually helps it. For me the big issue is this: people that rely only on social media to find out what’s going on still need RSS, even if they don’t use it themselves.” Tim also pointed me to this article by Joshua Gans on The Social Structure Of News. In it, Gans says:

“The problem is that from what we know about the social structure of social media is that there are a set of roles available. Take Mark Thoma. His blog and twitter feeds have a huge following. Why? Because he reads all of the Econ blogs and picks out what he thinks is best. If you read Thoma, chances are you don’t need Google Reader. He is the social web.

But how does Thoma operate? My guess is that he uses a feed reader and has a system for tagging good posts and forwarding them on to others. Sometimes it is just a link. Other times he provides a quote and a little commentary. Remove his tools and his job gets harder.

Given this it should be no surprised that the most dismayed about the loss of Google Reader were the contributors to social web curation. There is only need for a few of these but they do an important job so disrupting them will harm many. In the Econ world, these people are well known. They are Brad de Long, Tyler Cowen and a few more specialized bloggers. In the days of old I used to do this too with multiple posts daily but the others were better and so I dropped back to being one of the many who hoped these curators would pick up their posts.

My point is that if you say you don’t use Google Reader because the social web takes care of you, then you are mistaken. The social web needs its tools and indirectly so do you.”

In their content guidelines published 11/1012, Google says

“One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.

However, some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.”

Killing Google Reader goes beyond Google’s usual move to force users into the walled garden of Google+; I now believe this is a shaping strategy to kill curation and auto posting as a form of content marketing and to give Google more control over publishers in much the same way book publishers had control over authors in the ‘old days’.

There’s still really no rush to find a replacement for Google Reader — if you’re using Google Reader you’ll be able to export your sources before July 1 and import them into the next great RSS reader. What to do about Google is another issue altogether. Google has ‘exceeded their brief‘ and is getting evil

How about you? Do you see the ‘shaping strategy’ or do you have a different perspective?

Email Is Not Broken; We Are

Gmail logo

Here’s an interesting perspective on the ‘problem’ of email…

There’s a constant flow of “email is/is not broken” articles across the internet, but most of them miss the point. Email as a system is not broken, but we, through our email behaviors, are.

Nearly all of the articles written recently about fixing email have concentrated on technology and building a better client or implementing the specs more closely or bringing two systems together. These are all great ideas and have a ton of value, but they will not fix the inherent issue that people are experiencing with email, but which most articles fail to articulate: we think email is broken because we are overwhelmed by it and get less real work done because of it.

So instead of asking how we can make email better/faster/cooler, we need to ask ourselves how we can get more work done while still using email. Unfortunately, many experiences have shown over the past decade or so that this problem is not easily solved by new technology, as much as I would love that. It is solved by teaching people better email behaviors. This is certainly a less sexy solution, but guess what? It’s the attainable one. Here are some ideas that I’ve come across from others, and that warrant further investigation. They are all designed to help us get more real work done, which is the real problem with the email timesink.

Source: Email Is Not Broken; We Are

You can go to the source and read the author’s perspective, but while you’re here consider this: I think email is ‘broken’ because we let the wrong things in to begin with — in other words, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Most peoples’ inboxes are like their kitchen junk drawers – how can they expect to find anything of value in there? Instead, try using email only for ‘just in case’ information – information that affects relationships and revenue and all that goes along with it – and use an rss reader like Google Reader for all the ‘just in case’ info. That philosophy alone will make your email infinitely more manageable! As you get more efficient, you can add David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done‘ principles to your approach…

If you’re looking for more ideas like this, check out my free ebook on ‘personal news aggregation’. Go to http://elevation.company/pna/ and click the register button. You might also be interested in this recent post I did on effectively consuming information

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Last week, I posted that I had been chosen by Erin Davisson of WFRV TV in Green Bay to talk with her viewers about Google Reader. That segment was aired this evening…


Here’s the transcript…

Need to do a lot of online research? There’s a Google tool that can help make you a lot more efficient. It’s called Google Reader. It’s a free, web-based reader of RSS feeds, and once you find out how useful it is, you’re going to want to use it.Todd Lohenry is the owner of e1evation llc, and a social media expert. He’s a big fan of the Google Reader.

“Google Reader is a tool that lets you track the sites that you trust to search for terms that you want to know about and to track the people that you trust and turn the tide of information from chasing websites, hoping to find something good – to making the information you want flow to you,” said Lohenry.

The Google Reader is able to bring content from your favorite websites, blogs and topics to one location by the use of RSS feeds. Lohenry says RSS feeds are like the antenna on top of a television station. It broadcasts a signal to anyone who chooses to receive it. Google Reader is one of those receivers.

Google Reader also offers extras like personal stats, and keyboard shortcuts. You can track topics by using an RSS feed of a Twitter search. Lohenry says mastering the Google Reader means freeing up massive amounts of time, and says, “It makes all the difference in the world in terms of what you are able to accomplish on the internet.”

It will take some time to set up your Google Reader. but once you’ve found all your RSS feeds- it’s very handy.

Thanks so much to Erin Davisson for featuring my thoughts on ‘personal news aggregation’ with Google Reader on ‘Online with Erin’. Comment or ‘connect’ so we can talk about how Google Reader applies to your organization…

This afternoon, I thought I was heading to a personal digital coaching session on Google Reader for local anchorwoman Erin Davisson of WFRV TV in Green Bay. Instead, unbeknownst to me, it was Erin’s intention to interview me for an upcoming news segment…

Fortunately, I’m always ready to talk about the power of ‘personal news aggregation’ using Google Reader and I had no trouble giving Erin 50x more content than she’ll ever be able to use! Erin was also kind enough to give me a tour of the studio and sit for this picture. Now I’ll have to ask her to autograph my blog…


PS Be sure to tune in Tuesday the 14th at 5:00 to see the segment!

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a post on one of my favorite topics. Save your inbox for ‘just in time’ information by sending all your ‘just in case’ information to your newsfeed reader…

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of email messages that hit your Inbox daily, try these new ideas that may help reduce your overall email burden without interrupting the incoming flow of information. 

You may also want to check out Getting Email Under Control – a PDF ebook from David Allen where talks about tackling email using the the Getting Things Done methodology.” Source: How to Manage Email Overload with some help of your RSS Reader

I’ve done a 30 minute training session on how to use Google Reader and you can view it here. Give me a call at (920) 486-4798 or drop me a note using the contact from if you’d like to know more…

Five Key Ingredients for a Successful Corporate Blog

Posterous Logo
Image via Wikipedia

So what are the keys to a successful corporate blog? Here are five tips:

1. Content that provides insight, perspective and information. At its core, a corporate blog has to give its readers information they can use to increase their knowledge, learn new things or receive insight.

2. It has need to be well written. A blog with spelling and grammatical mistakes reflects badly on the person writing it and their employer. As well, a blog posts need to have good flow and provide an engaging narrative that makes it easy to read.

This is particularly important given many people scan content online as opposed to reading it. This is why a good headline so important to capture someone’s attention.

3. Posts have to happen on a regular basis. It could be one, two or five posts/week. Whatever the editorial plan, it needs to be consistent to establish expectations within the company and among the blog’s readers.

The worse thing a company can do is post four or five times a week for a few weeks, and then once a week or not at all afterward. When the audience doesn’t know what to expect, they start to drift away.

4. It can’t operate as a standalone entity. There are two angles to this advice. One, a blog needs to be supported and nurtured within a company. It needs to be actively promoted within communications, marketing and sales collateral, business cards, letterhead and email signatures.

It should also be promoted on social media services such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. A blog needs to be seen as an integral part of a company’s brand and identity as opposed to be left alone to its own devices.

Second, a corporate blog needs to be integrated into the blogosphere and the blogging community. The people writing a blog need to be reading and commenting on other blogs. You can’t write a blog in isolation otherwise there are no connections with the “outside” world.

5. It needs to look good and have a user-friendly design. As much as a company will spend time and money to create a good Web site, its blog also need to be functional and attractive. In many senses, it is a public marketing vehicle that reflects a company’s brand, culture and approach to business.

A good blog should follow best practices by including things such as an RSS feed (both through an RSS reader and via e-mail), information about the writers, the ability to leave comments, links to social media services, and links to other corporate resources.

This quote is a little longer than the content I normally curate, but it’s such good stuff, I grabbed almost the whole post for you…

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