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Now You See It // The Blog of Author Cathy N. Davidson » Announcing Now You See It, in Paperback!

Now You See It // The Blog of Author Cathy N. Davidson » Announcing Now You See It, in Paperback! | Infotention | Scoop.it

Now available in paperback, "Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform The Way We Live, Work, and Learn," is essential reading for anyone interested in the way human attention and human-created media are co-evolving. An excellent companion to my own book, Net Smart, for those interested in understanding both the theory and practice of mindful infotention.-- Howard

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Infotention
Managing attention & information
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Measuring Students’ Self-Control: A ‘Marshmallow Test’ for the Digital Age

Measuring Students’ Self-Control: A ‘Marshmallow Test’ for the Digital Age | Infotention | Scoop.it
Researchers hope that being able to accurately measure how well students resist digital temptations will help them learn about how "academic diligence" features in later life success.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

DIligence in the face of distraction is especially important for today's students. This long article about recent research discusses a new test that claims to predict academic achievement, based on measures of attentional self control (remember the famous "marshmellow experiment?") Is choosing not to be distracted a learnable skill? That question is at the heart of infotention.

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The History of Cognitive Overload | Farnam Street

The History of Cognitive Overload | Farnam Street | Infotention | Scoop.it
Highly successful people have many of the daily distractions of life handled for them, which allows them to better focus their attention.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I still have not read Levitin's book, "The Organized Mind: THinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload" -- it's on my large and teetering stack of books to read. This very long review, with multiple passages from the book quoted, offers many useful infotention tips. At the very beginning, the reviewer calls out Levitin's use of Herbert Simon's strategy of "satisficing":


"Satisficing is one of the foundations of productive human behavior; it previals when we don't waste time on decisions that don't matter, or more accurately, when we don't waste time trying to find improvements that are not going to make a significant difference in our happiness or satisfaction."


In other words, satisficing can be an effective infotention strategy.

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Designing a Personal Knowledgebase

"Since so much knowledge is now digital, there is no shortage of material from which I can learn. On the contrary, I’m usually drowning in too much information. But that’s a discussion for another day. For me, right now, the major problem is that I lack an easy and effective system for capturing and recording my learning. My memory alone will not suffice. What I need is a personal knowledgebase, which I define as an external, integrated digital repository for the things I learn and the resources from which they come.


Many have tried to solve the problem I’m encountering now, and numerous digital solutions exist. Some of the most popular options include Evernote, Devonthink, and Voodoo Pad. Over the course of my graduate studies, I’ve tried many of these programs, but all have fallen short of what I really need, given my own workflow."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

The border between infotention (managing attention and digital media information flows ) and personal knowledge management (organizing and refining information for one's own storage, retrieval, pattern-building, connection-making needs) is a fuzzy one. This graduate student appears to have tried some of the best available tools, including Evernote and Devonthink (which I have used extensively) and Voodoo Pad (which I haven't tried). Finding them all inadequate, Alex lays out requirements for a "personal knowledgebase." 

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AlisonMcNab's curator insight, September 6, 1:48 PM

Informative post from @Howard Rheingold

Stephen Dale's curator insight, September 7, 3:41 AM

We live in an age where information is all around us, all of the time. Sometimes we seek it out, other times it comes to us, uninvited. The only way we can learn from and apply this information (actionable knowledge) is by having the tools and know-how to be able to sort, sense, filter, organise and ultimately retrieve this information within a context where it can be applied.

 

There are lots of tools out there that can help us (I use Evernote, Mindjet Mindmapping, Social Bookmarking and Blogging as my core tools), but I haven't yet found the El Dorado of a single tool/application/software that can do it all. This article from Alex provides an outline specification of the ideal system. An opportunity for an entrepreneur - perhaps, to satisfy what I think is a growing need amongst most people grappling with the information torrent.

 

Reading time: 20mins

Crystal Renfro's curator insight, September 8, 11:48 AM

This individual does a very detailed job both describing his workflow and what he would like to find in a one-stop shop tool.  All the myriad of comments opens a new flood of tools and ideas to consider.  It reiterates my belief that building interfaces between powerful tools that achieve different purposes may be the way to go... it goes back to what docear.com is trying to do.... the downside is that interfaces break very easily as different apps upgrade their products and thus makes the interface unstable.

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The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload | KurzweilAI

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload | KurzweilAI | Infotention | Scoop.it

."In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I've not read this book yet, but I've ordered it. I enjoyed Levitin's previous book, "This Is Your Brain on Music," and although I am skeptical of what has been called "neurobollocks," I suspect this will be a good addition to my small infotention library.

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JoseAlvarezCornett's comment, August 28, 6:07 AM
Howard, besides your own book and this one, can you list five must read books about infotention?
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Multitasking, social media and distraction: Research review

Multitasking, social media and distraction: Research review | Infotention | Scoop.it
2013 research review of major studies relating to multitasking and distraction, with an emphasis on young people and social media.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

A literature review of the not-yet-very-extensive research (about a dozen studies in this review) on attention and media multitasking.

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David McGavock's curator insight, July 24, 12:53 PM

Nice survey of the research on multitasking. We're just getting started...


"Clifford Nass, notes that scholarship has remained firm in the overall assessment: “The research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They’re basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking.” - See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/social-media/multitasking-social-media-distraction-what-does-research-say#sthash.I21dv2wV.dpuf";

Bodil Hernesvold's curator insight, August 5, 11:54 PM

Attention is important. This entry gives an overview of some research that has been done on multitasking.

Katie Muirhead's curator insight, August 20, 8:53 AM

As our lives are becoming increasingly technical, it is not surprising that research into media multitasking is becoming more widespread. This article is particularly authoritative as it has curated relevant university studies. It notes  that "people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They're basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking." This comment alone is enough to inspire me to both research this subject matter more, ans strive towards mindfulness myself!!

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Steve's Seaside Life › Consolidating Personal Knowledge

Steve's Seaside Life › Consolidating Personal Knowledge | Infotention | Scoop.it

"This post is the second in series on how I’ve automated augmenting my memory, the first post covered how I create a diary which is my most important and frequently referenced memory aid.  This post covers how I automate the creation of my personal knowledge management archive.  This archive has been with me for many years now, although it’s expanding at a rapid rate, which makes retrieval one of my primary concerns.  In the same way that I’ve found consolidating my diary into a single app, in that case Momento, I consolidate all personal knowledge management information into Evernote which I have on all my devices and the web.  Although I started collecting most of this information manually, I’ve found over the years that I don’t have the discipline to do this for anything but the most valuable of information, so it’s almost all automated now. "

Howard Rheingold's insight:

This fellow is an infotention superstar. He understands that the tools he uses are means of augmenting his memory, an he knows how to connect tools such as IFTTT, Instapaper, and Evernote. I'm going to start adopting some of the methods Steve recommends.

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Conscious Computing: 7 Apps and Tips That Help You Focus, Reduce Stress, and Get Work Done

Conscious Computing:  7 Apps and Tips That Help You Focus, Reduce Stress, and Get Work Done | Infotention | Scoop.it

I don’t think that tools alone can do it alone.  I think we need also what Howard Rheingold calls “Infotention Skills or training our attention and developing productivity habits in a networked age should go hand-in-hand with the use of these tools.   Here are some of the tools that can help make better habits or break bad ones. - See more at: http://www.bethkanter.org/conscious-apps/#sthash.h6NzutVk.dpuf

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I have not tried these apps yet, but I have a great deal of confidence in Beth Kanter (obviously, the feeling is mutual). Alex Soojung-Kim Pang's book is worth a look by anybody interested in infotention, as well.

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Meet “Spire”, The Wearable Breath Tracker That Calms You Down | TechCrunch

Meet “Spire”, The Wearable Breath Tracker That Calms You Down | TechCrunch | Infotention | Scoop.it

"You haven’t taken a deep breath in 30 minutes”. This is the smartest thing a wearable has ever told me. Most fitness trackers just pump out near-meaningless numbers. But Spirecould actually make you healthier, happier, and more productive. Just clip the subtle little stone-looking device to your belt or bra, and it measures and visualizes your breathing in real-time on its companion app.

Spire can let you know if you’ve been sitting still too long or need to relax because your breaths are shallow."

.

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I have not tried this myself yet, but I have followed Neema's work at Stanford for years and we've talked about infotention and mindfulness many times. I can guarantee that it's not BS.

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Selective Attention | Simply Psychology

Selective Attention | Simply Psychology | Infotention | Scoop.it
Howard Rheingold's insight:

"Selective attention" is the concept from cognitive psychology that forms the elementary building block of infotention -- enlisting existing mechanisms that our brains already use to filter incoming information. The research on this goes back to the 1950s. This is a good description in lay language about research into attentional bottlenecks and filters.

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Katie Muirhead's curator insight, August 19, 9:31 AM

Interesting cognitive psychology information regarding how our brains absorb information. Interesting to consider how our brains filter what we pay attention to, before we discuss what they pay attention to. Not necessarily directly linked to infotention, but an important source of background information.

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How to Use Evernote

How to Use Evernote | Infotention | Scoop.it

"It’s nearly impossible for me to cover every evolving nook and cranny of Evernote, let alone the cornucopia of features and specifics tailored exclusively for the differing platforms it runs on. That being the case, we’ve outlined a few general tips and tricks below for making the most of Evernote regardless of your device. I doubt they’ll make you an note-taking expert right off the bat, but consider them the second level of Evernote once you’ve mastered the basics of creating, tagging, organizing and sharing your notes."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I avoided Evernote for a long time, but it has become increasingly useful for my information handling and remembering routines. I can post my passwords and encrypt the entry. I can forward emails to specific notebooks. This article goes from the elements of getting started to advanced tips and tricks.

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Bodil Hernesvold's curator insight, August 18, 2:32 AM

I use Evernote from time to time, and I like the tagging there, but there is so much more cool stuff to learn.

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12 Tips That Got Me Using Evernote Again

12 Tips That Got Me Using Evernote Again | Infotention | Scoop.it

"As I have added Evernote back into my routine, I find myself using it every day.

From the quick capture of ideas and notes, to the collection of reference material and documents, Evernote is my main information library.

The ability to access my notes from anywhere is a powerful capability that saves time and makes me more productive.

If you have moved away from Evernote or haven’t explored its full potential, I recommend trying these tips today."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

On the info-tools side of infotention, I resisted Evernote for years, but now find it indispensible. I keep mailing lists, info on my classes, clip items for my hobbies, forward emails confirming online orders (email to evernote is most useful if you add your evernote email address to your address book)

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Stephen Dale's curator insight, May 31, 9:17 AM

I've been using Evernote as part of my daily routine for the past 3 years, and couldn't do without it. Apart from the 12 (excellent) tips in the article, I've found the scheduler very useful for prompting actions - e.g. to write a blog post on a note I've written or a webclip that I've captured; the iPad version allows me to scan-in business cards, where the contact name is  auto-checked against LinkedIn, and I've configured the Evernote options such that any Google Search I perform automatically displays results from my Evernote notebooks next to the Google search results.

 

If you've never used Evernote - give it a try and follow some of the 12 tips given in this article. 

 

#Evernote

David McGavock's curator insight, June 8, 5:24 PM

Evernote is the bomb. I used the free version for years but use it so much that I decided to support them with my $$. I love the way it synchronizes my notes between devices. Easy sharing also.

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Daniel Goleman on Focus: The Secret to High Performance and Fulfilment - YouTube

http://www.intelligencesquared.com/events/daniel-goleman-on-focus-high-performance-fulfilment/ Filmed at the Royal College of Music on 25th October 2013. 

Psychologist Daniel Goleman shot to fame with his groundbreaking bestseller Emotional Intelligence. The premise of the book, now widely accepted, is that raw intelligence alone is not a sure predictor of success in life. A greater role is played by 'softer' skills such as self-control, self-motivation, empathy and good interpersonal relationships.

Now Goleman comes to Intelligence Squared for an exclusive talk on the themes of his latest book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. Attention, he will argue, is an underrated asset for high achievers in any field. Incorporating findings from neuroscience, Goleman will show why we need three kinds of focus: inner, for self-awareness; other, for the empathy that builds effective relationships; and outer, for understanding the larger systems in which organisations operate. Those who excel rely on Smart Practices such as mindfulness meditation, focused preparation and positive emotions that help improve habits, add new skills, and sustain excellence."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I've been following Goleman's work for decades. As I've mentioned before, infotention involves both practice of the inner skills of attention control (Goleman focuses on focus, which is one important -- but not the only -- attentional aspect that can be trained) and knowledge of how to use information tools. This one hour and 18 minute video lecture concentrates on the three kinds of focus.

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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, May 20, 2:11 PM

Rhiengold recommended!  An hour+ on focus.  (Can you focus?)

Michael Binzer's curator insight, May 23, 5:49 AM

I think Daniel Goleman is fantastic. His views on emotional intelligence is formidable. A youtube video to inspire you.....

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Filtering JP Rangaswami – from information deluge to context

Filtering JP Rangaswami – from information deluge to context | Infotention | Scoop.it
I liked JP Rangaswami's series on filtering so much, I decided to filter it.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

JP Rangaswami's thoughtful series of blog posts on the why and how of filtering online info-flows is a fundamental infotention text. Instead of Scooping all seven, I've Scooped this blog post by Jon Reed that summarizes and links to all seven parts.

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How To Train Your Attention and Be Effective When Working Online

How To Train Your Attention and Be Effective When Working Online | Infotention | Scoop.it

"People who are doing social media for more than 35% of their job need a certain set of tools and tips to manage their time.   But, more and more smart nonprofits are enlisting their staff members as champions online and are using their personal brands and networks in service of the organization’s goals.   These staff members most likely do not as much dedicated time to spend on social media – so there is the potential of getting overwhelmed.   So, here are  a few tips for those find they need to “squeeze in” social: -"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Beth Kanter specializes in social media training for nonprofits -- and she knows what she is talking about. Here are some practical infotention tips for nonprofit workers (which are generally good for anybody)

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Why Evernote is Amazing · alicedaer · Storify

A collection of articles, blog posts, tutorials, and ideas for making Evernote your best friend ever.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Alice Daer is an experienced educator -- I've followed her for years. Here she Storifies a compendium of resources about using Evernote, which has become one of my most used infotention tools.

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Stephen Dale's curator insight, September 7, 4:27 AM

I couldn't survive with Evernote, but this is a useful introduction to anyone who hasn't yet discovered this powerful information management system. It's also a good example of how to use Storify as a tutorial tool. 

 

Reading time: 10mins

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HowTo: EC2 for Poets

"EC2 for Poets is a tutorial that shows you how to set up a server in Amazon's "cloud." All you need is a net connection, credit card, and a basic understanding of how to use computers.

Initially, the goal for EC2 for Poets was to make cloud computing less mysterious by helping people get through the process of setting up a server on Amazon EC2. The newest version is more than an experiment, it's a platform for applications. We're starting with the RIver2 news aggregator, an app that reads RSS feeds you're subscribed to every ten minutes and posts the new items at the top of the list. It's also a podcatcher and a photo aggregator, supports realtime updating and OPML reading lists."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Part of infotention is internal -- training attentional skills to cope with and master the tsunami of incoming information provided by digbital media. And part of infotention is mastering information and knowledge handling tools. Dave Winer has been a pioneer in creating such tools -- for blogging, RSS, podcasts. Here he delves into one of the most powerful tools -- setting up a server in the cloud. If we are to remain empowered to create World Wide Webs, search engines, and other knowledge innovations -- rather than depending on governments or corporations -- it is incumbent on us to master the art of the platform.

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Tip for Getting More Organized: Don't

Tip for Getting More Organized:  Don't | Infotention | Scoop.it

How much time do you spend each day getting better organized? Cut it in half.


When it comes to investing time, thought and effort into productively organizing oneself, less is more. In fact, not only is less more, research suggests it may be faster, better and cheaper.


IBM researchers observed that email users who “searched” rather than set up files and folders for their correspondence typically found what they were looking for faster and with fewer errors. Time and overhead associated with creating and managing email folders were, effectively, a waste.


By combining threading with search, technology makes an economic virtue of virtual disorganization. The personal productivity issue knowledge workers and effective executives need to ponder is whether habits of efficiency that once improved performance have decayed into mindless ruts that delay or undermine desired outcomes. Are folders and filing systems worth fifteen to twenty-five minutes a day of contemplative classification and sort for serious managers?"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I'm an inveterate organizer of information into folders and folders within folders. I did that for years before search came along. Old habits die hard. But really -- why organize when you can tag and search? Social bookmarking alerted me to the usefulness of tag-and-search (what links did I tag with BOTH "curation" and "infotention"?) and now I ask myself, when I start to folder-within-folder, whether tag-and-search might be more efficient. h/t Sahil Gupta

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Catherine Cronin's curator insight, June 30, 12:52 AM

Filtering, tagging and searching are key digital literacies explored in CT231. This is a useful article -- and insight from Howard Rheingold -- comparing different search strategies.

 

magnus sandberg's curator insight, August 7, 3:14 AM

Freedom!

JoseAlvarezCornett's comment, August 28, 6:16 AM
Few month ago I began to tag every pdf/doc file I download. For every file I think about 3 key words and I add them to the file name. It makes searching for pdf files a much easier task.
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I Dare You To Watch This Entire Video - YouTube

"Can you make it through the whole thing?"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

An infotention exercise, serious and funny at the same time, from College Humor. Can you watch it for 3 minutes without your attention fleeing?

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Miloš Bajčetić's curator insight, June 26, 9:09 AM

Must see! ;-)

Katie Muirhead's curator insight, August 19, 9:20 AM

I admit, I couldn't make it. Probably the best example of how our attentions bounces around!

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Sorting concepts | Social Media Classroom

Sorting concepts | Social Media Classroom | Infotention | Scoop.it

"On one hand we gather information from all corners of the planet - network. But all this gathering requires intention, filtering and sorting. While we have intentions to understand and become more expert with particular knowledge, we also have intentions for how we want to organize and/or distribute what we have learned. On top of that we have publics (people we respect, trust and follow and people who are interested in what we have to say). Since we are the center of this universe (dream) it makes sense to optimize our this process by taking care of our minds and bodies, developing good habits. "

Howard Rheingold's insight:

David McGavock, one of the co-learners in my Introduction to Mind Amplifiers course, made this mindmap, useful in conceptualizing the tool and attention skills that make up infotention

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Rise Above the Information Deluge. Effective Visualization and Information Management

We’re all connected to a vast sea of information: twitter, email, news and social networking sites, blogs and corporate portals …But with all this information at our fingertips it begs the question: are we getting smarter with all this data or just bogged down?

With TheBrain you can create large networks of information that match your style of thought, finally putting you in control of the deluge of information, instead of it controlling you.

In this must see webinar we’ll cover strategies to master information overload so you can actually leverage relevant information sources and capture your best knowledge.

Learn how to:

• Develop guidelines and “Rules of Engagement” for your data sources
• Setup a visual workflow of relevancy and urgency for projects and information
• Create a single point of access that leverages key information relationships
• Organize and link organic knowledge hubs
• Integrate files, Web and intranet pages in a way that reflects your work style
• Track files, capture new ideas and version documents
• Setup reminders and review Thoughts to better control and manage information
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I use Personal Brain intermittently. It's a deep and powerful information and knowledge management tool that I recommend for those interested in serious personal knowledge management. It's also a useful infotention aid. I've attended many of these seminars and recommend them.

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Four is the 'magic' number

Four is the 'magic' number | Infotention | Scoop.it

"In 1956, American psychologist George Miller published a paper in the influential journalPsychological Review arguing the mind could cope with a maximum of only seven chunks of information.

The paper, "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two. Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information," has since become one of the most highly cited psychology articles and has been judged by the Psychological Review as its most influential paper of all time.

But UNSW professor of psychiatry Gordon Parker says a re-analysis of the experiments used by Miller shows he missed the correct number by a wide mark.

Writing in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Scientia Professor Parker says a closer look at the evidence shows the human mind copes with a maximum of four 'chunks' of information, not seven.

"So to remember a seven numeral phone number, say 6458937, we need to break it into four chunks: 64. 58. 93. 7. Basically four is the limit to our perception."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

The attentional window for short-term memory might be smaller than previously thought. Chunking information is one key strategy that can be exapted to infotentional practice.

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Anne-Marie Armstrong's curator insight, June 20, 6:39 AM

How does this apply to Interface Usability and Interaction?

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Content Discovery: RSS and the Power of Dynamic OPML Subscriptions

Content Discovery: RSS and the Power of Dynamic OPML Subscriptions | Infotention | Scoop.it

Via Robin Good
Howard Rheingold's insight:

This is advanced, but if you find RSS useful for tuning your incoming information streams about particular subjects and you are ready to use power-tools, OPML is the next step. After reading through the descriptive material and how-tos, note the list of OPML services that can generate OPML for you.

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Fernando Zamith's curator insight, June 16, 3:19 AM

Parece interessante. Estou a experimentar.

Karen Bowden's comment, June 16, 9:54 AM
This is great! I love it! I can't wait to share some of my own lists. Thank you so much for posting this.
Robin Good's comment, June 16, 10:29 AM
Hi Karen, happy to see that you found this as useful as i did.
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How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 1) | Cult of Mac

How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 1) | Cult of Mac | Infotention | Scoop.it
I started writing stories this year – short fiction and a couple of novellas so far – and I’ve found I need to make a lot of notes. The i
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I use Evernote, Scrivener and IFTTT and have a dozen old Mokeskin notebooks but have not yet tried this combination. I know that I use Evernote a couple dozen times a day and wouldn't think of writing a long article or book without Scrivener.

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How to Hack RSS to Reduce Information Overload

How to Hack RSS to Reduce Information Overload | Infotention | Scoop.it
The key to cutting information overload is to more efficiently find the data that you want among the data that you don’t care about. I wanted to share some of the techniques that I use to hack and filter my RSS feed to prioritize relevant information.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Since Google ditched Google Reader, RSS has receded from many people's awareness. Yet RSS and versatile RSS readers such as NetVibes continue to exist, and if you want to learn information skills to support attention skills, you can do no better than Dawn Foster, who can tell you simply and step-by-step how to arrange for the information you want to come to you, and to filter out the information you don't want. 

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How Attention Works: The Brain’s Anti-Distraction System Discovered — PsyBlog

How Attention Works: The Brain’s Anti-Distraction System Discovered — PsyBlog | Infotention | Scoop.it
Attention is only partly about what we focus on, but also about what we manage to ignore.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Empirical research on the neural correlates of attention is revealing a multi-functional system by which we balance the center of attention with the periphery, focus and scanning, allowing and suppressing attention to input. For students and those who are beginning to train their online infotention, it begins with strengthening the ability to ignore distractions. However, experts are also good at paying attention to perceptions on the periphery that might be important now or later (think of an expert aviator, scanning the horizon.)

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