The following was posted previously by me at for lack of a better home.
30 years ago it was hard to get information from outside your immediate area, greatly more difficult was getting information from across the globe. The globe itself was in the way… Now you can send and receive information on a global scale at little cost. We now have information available from more sources than you could count.

The problem is that now, the information itself is in the way. There is just so much of it that separating the signal from the noise is the greatest barrier.

There are some valuable tools that can help you sort, share, find and deliver this information. More and more pop up every day, but here are some of the ones I either use or am thinking about using.

iGoogle: RSS reader Lite
Like many others out there, this can be your default page in your browser. Fill it with RSS feeds from stuff you like and stay informed.

Google Reader: RSS reader
Once or if you outgrow iGoogle, step up to the Reader. This is THE way I keep up with all the blogs and other RSS-enabled information I care about. Social bookmarking
A great way to keep and categorize bookmarks from home and work or wherever!
It can also be used as a group bookmarking tool. The PR2.0 group and the Interactive department both have unique tags we use to bookmark things worth sharing with the group.
Check mine out here:

Twitter: Micro-blog
This is a micro-blog… this is THE micro-blog. At first you might wonder why you or anyone would use this. I know I did. After seeing the power users like @zeldman and @guykawasaki I understood. The casual user like myself isn’t going to have over 13,000 followers like Guy has, but it works well to stay connected with distant and nearby friends. Then you realize that it can have many uses.
For some creative examples, take a look at
Follow me on twitter @johnrhopkins

Summize: Twitteer tracking/monitoring
In my opinion, this is the best twitter monitoring site. The advanced features save you from learning all the boolean functions. Even if you know what Boolean functions are, this is a nice feature.

Plurk: Micro-blog
This is seen as a twitter clone, but it has some additional things to offer. The plurks are viewed in a timeline. You can link media live video and photos to the posts. Has same 140 char limit that twitter has. Has “Karma”, which is a system that gives you points for various types of plurktivity. I believe the Karma points will unlock further features… I felt this was a great idea that will help users grow into the features and not overwhelm.
Check me out on Plurk: johnrhopkins

Stumble It!
Stumbleupon: Find new stuff
This is a system that lets you opt in to categories of web content and will try to give you a site that it thinks will be of interest to you… the more you use it, the better the results should be.

Technorati Browser Buttons: page popularity tracking?
See who’s linking to the page you’re on

And last, but by no means least

Friend Feed: social media glue?
This is a great (the best I’ve found so far) way to keep track of your friends that use the above (or most any other) services. Once you are doing the social media thing and have friends that are as well, and trust me, you do. You will want this to tie it all together.

The tools above are an entry point to getting the message, the pull, and while some will get you started in sending message, my next post will be about the push and our individual presence on the web.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Jason Falls has some good comments on Twitter vs. Plurk here.

John Hopkins
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