Making a molehill from a mountain: keeping up with digital developments

One of our aims for participants on the Digital Action Plan is to help form digital habits and some ongoing curiosity.

People often ask: ‘how can I stay on top of all this stuff?’ The short answer is: you can’t, really. But there are other people who are great at identifying trends, inspiring ideas and case studies. A bit of effort is needed initially, to find people who you think are interesting and who you respect for their knowledge. Then you need to find a way to keep up with what they’re saying, which suits the rhythm of your week.

Reading

Here are a few people I read regularly, and the way in which I keep up with them:

  1. Ben Whitelaw’s Everything in Moderation newsletter
    Ben’s newsletter is a succinct and essential round-up of everything related to how engagement between and within online communities is changing. From how platforms are managing user content through to the dynamics of communities, this has it all.
  2. James Whatley’s newsletter
    The other newsletter. James is a bit of a force around all things digital and prolific across all sorts of channels. You can read his slide decks, tweets, blog posts and listen to podcasts. However, his email newsletter is a neat summary of useful case studies, trends and tech news. There’s a fair few film reviews too: read or skip over depending on whether you like cinema too.
  3. My ‘inspiring tweets’ list
    To give a little bit of structure to the time I spend on Twitter, I keep a list of people whose tweets I find reliably inspiring, energising, or who often link to interesting articles. I get a lot of energy and some good ideas from this list, and it helps turn what could be a random scrolling session in to a fairly useful part of the day.

Experimenting

Sometimes, I’ll read about a tool or channel that I think might be useful to include in people’s Action Plans. Obviously I need to know how it works, and feel confident using it. That helps me understand how it might work in a corporate context, even if I don’t particularly take to it personally.

However, if I download an app, the chances are it’ll sit on my phone, untouched and taking up memory. Therefore, I have a little rule about the home screen on my phone: this is reserved for apps that I’m using all the time, plus a few ‘experiments’. Leaving them here prompts me to have a play around when I have a few minutes to spare.

How do you like to keep up to date with digital developments? Tweet us with your suggestions.

At Helpful Digital, we also publish a round up of Helpful Links each month, collating the news and interesting articles we’ve shared within our team.

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