Compete or Lead: Keeping Up with Important Information

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If you want to lead in the internet age, then you need to access important information rapidly. Use these tools to get out in front.

Deciding which tool to use

Whether you are new to these tools or not, spending some time familiarising yourself with different ways to keep up-to-date may save you considerable time in the future. In deciding which tool to use, think about the answers to the following questions:

  • Do I want everything coming into my mailbox?
  • Where and how do I access these tools?
  • What’s the best use of my time?
  • Will these tools expose information sources I haven’t previously used?

The table below lists some pros and cons which may be useful for you to consider.

Mailing lists
Easy to set up
Archived on the web
Opportunity for networking

May overwhelm your mailbox
Limited audience
Not always active
RSS Feeds
Updated frequently
Able to access full information (e.g. article, podcast or proceedings) from brief summary
Easy to manage

Need to set up a feed reader
Graphics and photos do not appear
Not always available

AlertsDelivered to your mailbox
Relevance is high
Exposed to the material you were unaware of

Dependent on the quality of your search
Have to register with several sites
Not available for every resource you may be interested in
Source: Open University