Campaign Corner: How do I deal with information overload?

The Campaign Corner series looks to give three tips about commonly asked campaign issues. Do get in touch if you have any questions you would like to suggest.

Today’s Campaign Corner question: Aarrgh! There’s just too much information online. How do I cope?

  1. Make use of news aggregators. If you want to know what is happening in the world of UK politics, Politics Home is a great start, as it pulls together the latest content from traditional and online news sources into one regularly-updated front page.  For more specific Liberal Democrat news there is the essential Lib Dem Blogs and for political news and blogs more generally there is my own aggregator aggregator.markpack.org.uk.
  2. Use a feed (news) reader. One of the major tricks to getting the most out of websites in a time-efficient manner is to cut back on the amount of time you spend going round checking websites and instead make the websites come to you whenever they have something new – and that is where feed readers, such as Feedly come in. Once you have set up your feed reader, you can tell it to keep an eye on a website either by inputting the web address into the feed reader, or by visiting a website and then looking for the ‘sign-up to a feed reader’, ‘subscribe to RSS’ or similar option on screen (frequently accompanied by an orange square with curves cutting across it).
  3. Get the most from Google Alerts. Visit www.google.com/alerts and enter the search term you want (such as William Gladstone) along with your email address. You can choose how often you want to receive the alerts and, unless they are alerts that require a quick response simply set them to ‘once a day’ so that the alerts are reasonably timely but don’t tempt you during the day to get distracted from what you should be doing!

Got any other tips? Please do share them in the comment thread below.

Want to know more about local campaigning? Campaigning In Your Community by myself and Shaun Roberts should be right up your street. It’s available for only £4 from ALDC and you can read an extract for free here.

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