How I Keep Up On Social Media Trends

Last week I read a great blog post on Social Media Trends on the Copeland Communications' Blog. The premise of the post wasn't what are the latest trends in Social Media, because we all know they are ever changing and move faster than this blog, but rather how to keep up with these trends without getting overwhelmed.

Doug Brown, from Copeland, points out the 5 places he goes to keep himself current on the trends. Twitter, Mashable, Blogs, Google Reader and Smart People. He gives a little background on each and like him I use all of these methods as well. What I want to share is how I use two of those methods plus an iPad App to keep me up to speed on the latest trends.

First would be blogs. These are the starting point of a lot of content, in any niche, not just social media. People write about their findings, what they are doing, what is affecting their industry and so on. Once I have weeded out all the blogs that don't pertain to what I am looking for, I am left with a couple great blogs with powerful information. But then what, I don't always remember to visit them each day and it is rather bothersome to have to navigate to each one. That is where Google Reader comes in.

Google Reader is Google's feed reader, if anyone remembers those, and is used widely across the web. What you do is take the RSS feed from all those great blogs you have found and route them through Google Reader. The reader will then update every time there is a new post on that blog and you can read it right there in the reader. The tool even lets you categories your feeds into folders, which is also what I do. Now as amazing as Google Reader is, it isn't very pretty. That is why I then route Google Reeder through an iPad app that makes reading blogs much more enjoyable.

The app I'm referring to is called Flipboard and can be described as a social magazine for your iPad. It is completely customizable to your needs with a wide range of preset topics or you can sync your social accounts and Google Reader with it, like I do. It allows me to add each of my categories to the app and then open them up in a newspaper like manor. All I do is click the headline that appeals to me and it expands into an easily readable format.

Then it is all about setting aside the time to actually read the content. For me it is roughly 7:15am to 7:50am. By that time in the day I am back from my bike ride, showered and eating breakfast. I don't do anything else, expect eat, while I read all the information that has piled up in the last 24 hours. By the time I'm done I'm up on all that is happening in the realm of Social Media, Blogging and Tech.

What about you? Do you read blogs? If so how?

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