Friday, November 8, 2013

Keeping Current-Staying Afloat in the Information Tsunami

Remember the old days....when we stayed current by listening to the news on the radio or watching newscasts on television, reading the newspaper (print version), and magazines that came in the mail.  We kept abreast of developments in the law through advance sheets and seminars.

Now our challenge is not how we get information but how we manage all the information we get.  The internet is a thing of beauty, really, but the amount of information available to us is staggering, and comes at us like a Tsunami.  I thought I would share with you some of my favorite sources for keeping current. I expect this will be one in an occasional series and I'm hoping you will add your favorites as well.  My plan is to give you a partial list today, and then occasionally offer a summary of some of them in subsequent posts.

To start off, I don't do a lot of social media (unless you consider this blog social media) but I am on LinkedIn and I do have a Twitter feed. I don't tweet a lot-mainly these blog posts--but I do scan other feeds to keep current. I am still a relatively new resident of the Twitter-verse, but I have to say, I'm already astounded at how much information I see in these tweets.

I am part of some listservs and I get a number of eblasts or clips from various sources that are delivered directly to my email, which makes it incredibly convenient to have one location for information. 

Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:  Governing Daily, Kaiser Health News, Gerry Byer's trusts & estates blog, NAELA's ebulletin, the various SSRN feeds, the Legal Scholarship Network, AARP, Google alerts that I've made (all of you should do these if you haven't already), the BNA Health Care Daily Report,  Health Law Daily, and the National Senior Citizens Law Center's Washington Report.

There are also many government agencies that send out email alerts and you can sign up to track certain bills.  I am a dedicated reader of the GAO reports sent to my email from the GAO webmaster. These can be customized for specific topic areas. I get email alerts from the Senate Committee on Aging when something is scheduled before the Committee. Then of course is the information I may get through membership organizations. 

I could spend all my time in the virtual world, and at some point, one must assimilate all this information. The trick is to figure out what gives you the best information and how to manage it.  I know some folks have their email automatically sorted in folders on receipt, but I am one of those "out of sight, out of mind" folks and if I do that, I will never remember to go to the folder. Someone once told me that there are two kinds of people---"pilers" and "filers". I think I'm a piler--and if you looked at my email inbox or my desk, you would likely agree.

Don't forget Google, or whatever search engine you prefer where you can find anything you want to know...really ... and some things you didn't know you needed to know until you learned it.  And don't get me started on how many cute cat videos are available on the web...

 Tell us-what are your favorites and how do you organize all this information?








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