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7 Ways to Track Internet’s Trends and Popular News

7 Ways to Track Internet’s Trends and Popular News
Target Trend

    It doesn’t matter if you are a news reporter, a blogger, or just a regular guy who want to find the trends around the Internet, you want to be productive and use as little time as possible to find what’s popular and new.

    For me, I want to stay on top of technology and software related news, and to tell you the truth – I wouldn’t want to spend more than a tick to get what I want to see, or find out if it is popular. I want to introduce seven ways of tracking trends and popular resources online.

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    Watch Alexa Stat. There are two visit points. Alexa Traffic details and Movers. Alexa Traffic details gives you access on web site traffic estimations based on Alexa’s users population. With the dynamically generated graph, You could compare up to five different sites on traffic. Alexa Movers provides you with a view on which sites gain the most traffic recently. It is a terrific way to track on sites which have just hit the upward traffic (which is what we call a trend on the Internet). If you are using Firefox, download SearchStatus. It’s an excellent extension with Alexa Ranking display plus other great information on the site.

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    Alexa ranking on Digg and Slashdot

      Track Technorati. It is a blogging search engine. “Does it do searches only?”, you ask. For trend watcher, they have three more things for you – a popular page which shows the popular videos, movies, news and books bloggers have written about; a tag page which displays the popular tags for the hour. It also could help you to track posts which bloggers have tagged; and third, if you take a look at the tag search result, you see a nice trend graph. Take Apple iPhone for example, let’s see how the trend goes at the moment:

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      Technorati Trend Graph

        Look at PageRank. Not as useful as other methods, but it shows you overtime how many external pages have been linked to the page you are on. PageRank depends on the volume of incoming links. Number of incoming links can be one of the ways to judge if the content is worthwhile at all. I recommend SearchStatus instead of Google Toolbar to get the PageRank info as SearchStatus is more lightweight with tons of features.

        Read Digg. It is great. Sometimes it gets news much faster than mainstream media and bloggers. But sometimes the news that hit frontpage are just plain useless for me. So subscribe or read a specific topic section.

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        Read Slashdot. I know, it is pretty old school. But they still feature some breaking news about the technical and technology industry.

        Read news aggregators. Instead of going to newspaper sites and read breaking news and trends, subscribe aggregators like Google News and Techmeme.

        Use your Feed Readers. Find several frequently updated sites with feeds. Subscribe their feed with your feed reader. Track them all at once. As this is your own selections, I recommend to keep down the number of subscriptions, or at least categorize your feed into two areas. A trend watching area which is an area you read often, and Others which is a folder with less important feeds. Keep the noise vs signal ratio low.

        Hope these seven ways will save you time on tracking trends and popular stuff online. Got any more tips? Comment them here or send them to tips at lifehack.org

        More by this author

        Leon Ho

        Founder of Lifehack

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        Last Updated on September 10, 2019

        How to Master the Art of Prioritization

        How to Master the Art of Prioritization

        Do you know that prioritization is an art? It is an art that will lead you to success in whatever area that matters to you.

        By prioritization, I’m not talking so much about assigning tasks, but deciding which will take chronological priority in your day—figuring out which tasks you’ll do first, and which you’ll leave to last.

        Effective Prioritization

        There are two approaches to “prioritizing” the tasks in your to-do list that I see fairly often:

        Approach #1 Tackling the Biggest Tasks First and Getting Them out of the Way

        The idea is that by tackling them first, you deal with the pressure and anxiety that builds up and prevents you from getting anything done—whether we’re talking about big or small tasks. Leo Babauta is a proponent of this Big Rocks method.[1]

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        Approach #2 Tackling the Tasks You Can Get Done Quickly and Easily, with Minimal Effort

        Proponents of this method believe that by tackling the small fries first, you’ll have less noise distracting you from the periphery of your consciousness.

        If you believe in getting your email read and responded to, making phone calls and getting Google Reader zeroed before you dive into the high-yield work, you’re a proponent of this method. I suppose you could say Getting Things Done (GTD) encourages this sort of method, since the methodology advises followers to tackle tasks that can be completed within two minutes, right there and then.

        Figure out Your Approach for Prioritization

        My own approach is perhaps a mixture of the two.

        I’ll write out my daily task list and draw little priority stars next to the three items I need to get done that day. They don’t need to be big tasks, but nine times out of ten, they are.

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        Smaller tasks are rarely important enough to warrant a star in the first place; I can always get away without even checking my inbox until the next day if I’m swamped, and the people who need to get in touch with me super quickly know how.

        But I’m not recommending my system of prioritization to you. I’m also not saying that mine is better than Leo’s Big Rocks method, and I’m not saying it’s better than the “if it can be done quickly, do it first” method either.

        The thing with prioritization is that knowing when to do what relies very much on you and the way you work. Some people need to get some small work done to find a sense of accomplishment and clarity that allows them to focus on and tackle bigger items. Others need to deal with the big tasks or they’ll get caught up in the busywork of the day and never move on, especially when that Google Reader count just refuses to get zeroed (personally, I recommend the Mark All As Read button—I use it most days!).

        I’m in between, because my own patterns can be all over the place. Some days I will be ready to rip into massive projects at 7AM. Other times I’ll feel the need to zero every inbox I have and clean up the papers on my desk before I can focus on anything serious. I also know that my peak, efficient working time doesn’t come at 11AM or 3PM or some specific time like it does for many people, but I have several peaks divided by a few troughs. I can feel what’s coming on when and try to keep my schedule liquid enough that I can adapt.

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        That’s why I use a starred task list system rather than a scheduled task list. It allows me to trust myself (something that I suppose takes a certain amount of discipline) and achieve peak efficiency by blowing with the winds. If I fight the peaks and troughs, I’ll get less done; but if I do certain kinds of work in each period of the day as they come, I’ll get more done than most others in a similar line of work.

        You may not be able to trust yourself to that extent without falling into the busywork trap. You may not be able to tackle big tasks first thing in the morning without feeling like you’re pushing against an invisible brick wall that won’t budge. You might not be able to deal with small tasks before the big tasks without feeling pangs of guilt and urgency.

        My point is:

        The prioritization systems themselves don’t matter. They’re all pretty good for a group of people, not least of all to the people who espouse them because they use them and find them effective.

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        What matters is that you don’t fall for one set of dogma (and I’m not saying Leo Babauta or David Allen preach these things as dogma, but sometimes their proponents do) until you’ve tried the systems extensively, and found which method of chronological prioritization works for you.

        And if the system you already use works great, then there’s no need to bother trying others—in the world of personal productivity, it’s too easy to mess with something that works and find yourself unable to get back into your former groove.

        “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

        In truth, this principle applies to all sorts of personal productivity issues, though it’s important to know which issues it applies to.

        If you thought multitasking worked well for you each day and I’d have to contend that you are wrong—multitasking is a universal myth in my books! But if you find yourself prioritizing tasks that never get done, you might need to reconsider which of the above approaches you’re using and change to a system that is more personally effective.

        More About Prioritization & Time Management

        Featured photo credit: Sabri Tuzcu via unsplash.com

        Reference

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