So far I am very happy with my new strategy of using the #OpenTeachingOU Dashboard to manage my incoming social networking stuff, including my networked classes. I have been feeling GREAT about my empty email inbox (take no prisoners! my email inbox is now a tasklist: if something is in the inbox, it means I really MUST do something with it; otherwise,it goes into a folder... or the abyss of the archive). So, I am figuring out how to take a similar approach to incoming social. The only things I check outside of Inoreader are my Google+ stream (G+ feels like a community to me, not just "stuff to read") and my OU Twitter lists (because that's how I keep in touch with my school remotely). Everything else — which is to say, blogs (including my class blogs) and Twitter — I am reading at Inoreader. So, I set up the dashboard with my three must-read items at the top: incoming posts in Myth-Folklore class, incoming posts in Indian Epics class, and incoming blog posts from OU-related feeds (alas, not many of those). Then, below that are two other news streams that show "unread" items from two folders: a folder of Higher Ed News (Inside Higher Ed, Chronicle) and a folder of must-read Education Blogs. Then, in the right-hand column, are starred items (blog posts that I need to read/reread or write about), and below that is my must-read Twitter stream but filtered for no replies or RTs, just "original" tweets. Over in the left panel (which you cannot see in the screenshot; it lists all folders and tags, and you can rearrange ad libitum), I can see these same feeds in the same order, and from there I can access the complete stream showing unread items. And here is the key: I am just going to "mark all as read" OFTEN in order to keep the dashboard clean and focused. Sure, I might get time (like today) to go back and look at a stream more carefully... but to keep my focus and to keep moving forward, I need to a clean dashboard, just like in my inbox. This worked GREAT yesterday, and I discovered a lot of items I might have missed otherwise. So, I'm optimistic! I had not been making good use of the Dashboard options in Inoreader before, but I think I'm going to like this. Plus, you can set up multiple Dashboards and toggle between them, so I might even set up some other Dashboard designs and experiment with alternatives. But for now: HAPPY!
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