A week does not go by without a friend, colleague, or new acquaintance asking me, "How do you do it all?" The short answer: "It’s tough … very tough … but I have some help. For home and family issues, I have my lovely wife. For unloading the dishwasher, I have seven children. For getting out letters, I have an outstanding legal assistant. For researching legal issues, I have a number of associate attorneys who can help. And for blogging and staying current with the construction industry, I have Google Reader." (…Okay, so my answer was not that short…)
I use Google Reader to track and scan hundreds of blogs, news sources and Twitter feeds relating to the construction industry, leadership, marketing and social media. Rather than try to explain how it works, check out the following short video:
Now, let’s see how Google Reader has helped my blogging efficiency for an actual blog post. Last month, I read an article in my Google Reader about a skull and human bones found at a San Carlos construction site. Since the article highlighted what I thought was an instance where "best practices" can help a contractor in such a situation, I blogged about the incident, as well as some construction management tips.
How can Google Reader help you? The tool can be used:
- To track your "go to" websites that you regularly check
- To track certain terms in the mainstream media (i.e. "construction bids Tennessee" or "green incentives for developers")
- To follow certain Twitter feeds for people or terms
Since words have different meanings to people, there may be problems with some of the initial feeds you set in Google Reader. It may take time to determine whether the inquiries you set are returning useful information. Overall, this is a "must use" for anyone who wants to be a leader in their industry.