How do you cover all the information?

by Carl Natale on December 14, 2010

Information overloadIf you want an example of how social media is changing how information gets distributed, look at the National Football League. Consider these paragraphs from an Associated Press roundup of NFL action (The added emphasis is mine):

Running back Tashard Choice apologized via Twitter to anyone bothered by him asking Eagles quarterback Michael Vick for an autograph on national television right after a loss. He will get a chance to say more about it in an upcoming conversation with interim coach Jason Garrett.

As Vick was walking off the field, Choice approached with a white glove and a black marker. Choice can be seen explaining his request for his nephew, handing over the marker and Vick happily providing his signature. Vick even rubbed the top of Choice’s head as they said goodbye, the two having known each other for several years. The incident became a topic of debate coast-to-coast and all over the Internet. As public opinion turned against him, Choice tweeted an apology.

via NFL Notebook: Jets assistant fined for trip.

To be honest, I don’t care about anybody involved in this. The reason I am using this is that a player used his personal Twitter account to issue a 140-character press release. I feel sorry for the Cowboys beat writer who found the tweet and reported it. That means he has to read all the tweets about Choice’s breakfast choices (yes he tweeted about bacon and Fruity Pebbles) to get to the apology.

Choice isn’t the only one. A lot of players use Twitter to push out various messages. Even the NFL is on board. When a football writer asked why the press wasn’t notified of a decision, the NFL said it was sent on Twitter.

Even Tiger Woods is on Twitter.

This means sports reporters have to spend more time checking Twitter and Facebook and whatever else is the flavor of the month to make sure they don’t miss any “news.”

Put yourself in their shoes. You may not be a member of the press but you still gather information from sources and distribute it. You might not publish it in a newspaper or blog but you use the information to do your job.

Now that social media and blogs offer anyone the chance to publish information, you don’t have to rely on books and trade publications to keep current in your industry.

That means there is a lot out there. The Internet is great in that it gives you access to so much information. And it takes time just to ignore the unnecessary and wrong information.

So how do you decide what’s useful? And how do you find the time to keep up with it?

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