Thursday, October 18, 2012

Keeping up & staying in touch

Back in the day, if you read the daily newspaper and/or watched the evening news, you probably as well-informed as most Americans.  Editors decided what was important and relevant, and filtered out the rest.  Co-workers would gather at the water cooler to discuss  the day's events.   
But now many people telecommute or freelance.  Social media sites, websites, blogs and videos continue to sprout like weeds, with zillions of column inches of material.  Some are choked by the crowded marketplace, others flourish.  It’s hard to know which sources you need and want to follow to stay in the know.     

We can all learn more about our craft and industry.  Learn to be better people and run our lives more efficiently.  Find interesting tidbits to share at parties or via our personal social media outlets.  But how much time are we willing to commit to keep up with the never-ending flow of information? 

There are too many blogs just for writers voiceover talents, actors and freelancers to stay on top of.  I hear that some literary agents and editors, producers and directors share informative tweets and/or blogs, and that Twitter can be a good way to network.  As can LinkedIn, Facebook groups, etc., etc.
So much of what we come across out there is fluff.  Do we really need to know what so-and-so ate for dinner?  Do we need any more binder comments?  Yet once we've read something, the information may stick in our heads.
Mashable and lifehacker are two sites that seem to offer more wheat than chaff on a variety of topics.  There are also aggregators such as Digg and Reddit that combine many sources and/or let you know what’s popular.  We could easily spend our entire day and night searching, typing and scrolling.
At some point, we need to stop scanning and absorbing information, no matter how fascinating, and get our work done.  We need to stop Facebook chatting, texting and emailing so we can set our keyboards, tablets and phones aside and see people.  In person.

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