Every week I find more sources of leadership learning online. Through the recommendation of friends and links on Twitter, I am discovering new sources of insight, wisdom, and interest. But my computer time is limited. In addition to writing and promoting LeaderTalk for Mountain State University, I also homeschool my three young daughters. I find myself wondering how to keep up with reading and commenting on blogs when the school year starts next week.
Earlier this summer, Penelope Trunk wrote a post entitled “How to feel like you have time to read everything.” Though she made some challenging points, I still feel like I don’t have time to read everything. I bet some of you are in the same situation. Reading and learning more about leadership are high priorities for you, but you may feel overwhelmed by all there is to read.
For me, I think one key will be to make a plan and stick to it. In doing that I am considering what format for blog/online reading has been most successful for me in the past. Here are some questions to consider:
Do you do best with email subscriptions to your favorite blogs? If so, decide which ones you want to read and subscribe to all of them by email.
Do you prefer an RSS feed like Google Reader? If so, make sure you subscribe to all your favorite sites so that you can have them all in one place when you settle in to read.
Do you have a home page on Alltop? Alltop allows you to customize a homepage by saving all your favorite blogs on one page with recent posts listed. Then you only have to visit one page to see all the latest posts from your favorite bloggers.
Do you prefer just clicking around to your favorite sites? If so, you still need to have a favorites list or plan for keeping up with those sites.
This is a very personal decision. What works for you might not work for me. I realize, though, that my indecision about how to read is standing in the way of my actually reading right now. Here’s why: I set up a Google Reader at someone’s suggestion with a few subscriptions, but I never open it. Using RSS feeds is not a habit for me. I don’t want to make it a habit.
I don’t like email subscriptions either. When I check email, I am in email mode, for me, reading and responding to the most time pressing or interesting messages. When I see a subscription, I ignore it. Then I never get back to it later.
My favorite way to read is to click around to sites. Before I started writing LeaderTalk, I was a huge fan of Mom blogs. But I never subscribed to even one. I had a favorites list and whenever I had free moment, I clicked away, and always managed to stay up to date with content. I am going to try the same thing with leadership reading. I will make sure all my favorite sites are on my list and use the list to read whenever I get a moment’s break in my day.
Comments on blog posts extend the learning, creating community and conversation. As a Mom Blog reader, I rarely commented. As a leadership blog reader, I want to join the conversation, especially when the post raises a question in my mind or I have something interesting or useful to contribute. I enjoy receiving comments on my posts because they always add value and insight I hadn’t considered. With that in mind, I am going to renew my efforts to comment on posts frequently.
How do you keep up with your blog reading and commenting? Please share your suggestions here.
This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.