After trying many different ways to gather information to blog about, for the past two years, I’m trying something different yet again for the past month or so. It’s a combination of regular web surfing, using meme trackers such as Techmeme and Megite, social media such as DailyHub, Digg and Sphinn, or mashups such as TheWebList and ViralBabble. Add in a healthy dose of Stumbleupon and sometimes following the URL of a commenter on a blog.

I haven’t given up RSS feeds, but these other methods give me some hot topics quickly, and I branch out – sometimes systematically, sometimes randomly. The only drawback with mashup sites like ViralBabble, however, is that you can suffer from info overload. Overload means you hit writer’s block and obviously become less productive.

Here are a few news items and blog articles my weird, partly random technique took me to that may be of interest to you.

  1. Power presentations.
    Even those of us that work almost exclusively online sometimes have to step into the real world and maybe even give presentations. You can pick up a few pointers from the best PowerPoint presentations. [via Sphinn]

  2. Productivity from organization.
    Sometimes, all you need to be productive is get a little organized. Zen Habits provides 27 tips for staying organized.

  3. Finding blog jobs.
    Looking for blogging jobs? I don’t have anything listed right now, but Deb Ng of About.com has a short list of places to find blogging jobs. To that I add Performancing’s blogger jobs board.

  4. Blogging mistakes.
    If you don’t want to blog for someone else and would rather start your own, check out Pingable’s checklist for launching a new blog. Head Set Options also lists 5 blogging mistakes you may want to avoid.

  5. Blogging platforms.
    WordPress is quite possibly one of the most popular blogging platforms. However, there are many top bloggers who use Six Apart’s Movable Type, which now has version 4.0 out. While I like WordPress over any other platforms, I have used an older version of MT and do like it.

  6. Building and finding links.
    Link building is an important part of building authority for your website or blog. Sometimes, all you need to do is find links. Big Oak offers an easy to follow tip for finding links you can build on. Our Monmouth Blog also lists 11 sources of free quality links.

  7. Stumble traffic.
    Stumbleupon, a recent eBay acquisition, is a relatively new player in social media circles. I’m still exploring it and so far I like it very much. I do get traffic sent to this site on occasion, thanks to other bloggers who have “stumbled” my site. There are certain types of sites that do better with Stumbleupon, and the traffic that’s sent is not socially inept, rude and nasty like some from a certain other site. Market Federation provides a bit of analysis into the value of using Stumbleupon.

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