Whether you’re interested in social media for professional or personal reasons (or both!) it can get overwhelming. There’s so much information out there, and now even more tools to consume information. If you’re into what’s new and hot in the social media world, you likely know how daunting it can be to stay up to date with everything. At times I feel like if I don’t spend a couple hours each day browsing blogs in my reader, doing some Stumbling or checking out Twitter, I feel like I’m back at square one in the social media game.

However, I have figured out a few shortcuts which can help you stay up to date without giving up sleep time.

  1. Bestofyoutube.com – As fun as it is to browse You Tube every day for the funniest or most interesting videos, it can take a lot of time. But how embarassing is it when everyone starts talking about that crazy popular video and you haven’t seen it yet? Well Bestofyoutube.com takes the most popular videos from youtube each day and aggregates it in a podcast. I love downloading these babies to my new Nano and watching ’em at the gym. (I admit, I’ve burst out laughing once or twice!)
  2. Twitter – Get the right people on your Twitter feed and you’ll be amazed how much great info you can digest in a small amount of time (and 140 characters at a time!). Honestly since I got hooked on Twitter, I’ve been opening Google Reader less and less.
  3. Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang Jeremiah is easily one of the most influential and knowledgeable web strategists out there. In fact, Twitter is taking off big time and I think a particular post by Jeremiah on what is now dubbed ‘Twitter Tuesday’ has a lot to do with it.
  4. Google Alerts These handy little suckers help you monitor issues you are interested in. I use it for several keywords that are important to what I do, as well as for monitoring mentions of the company I work for on the web. You could also set up an alert for your own name, to monitor your personal brand reputation. Whatever you use it for GA are super useful, quick and convenient.
  5. Alltop – Are you still wondering what an RSS reader is? Or how you subscribe to blogs? Or maybe you get all that but just don’t have the time to seek out all the best resources. Well Alltop is probably the place for you.  It is a collection of blogs on a wide variety of topics. Each topic includes “All the top” blogs on that subject. Check out socialmedia.alltop.com for all the top stories on social media. (Though web2dotwhat.com is not there…yet!)

So there you go, consider it your ‘Coles notes’ to being a social media geek. There’s probably tons more, so drop a comment if you know of something good.

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