Human filters - my "sense>seek>share" double-loop

Over the years, I’ve tried many ways to make better use of all the information I come accross in my work, my browsing for new, shiny stuff or serendip’s help. In terms of aggregating and filterin, Feedly or the other, long-gone aggregators unfortunately never worked out for me nor for my brain and how it seems to handle information. Nor did Twitter lists as a means to filter. :-( What I increasingly find myself doing though is kind of a “seek>sense>share” “double loop” which maybe is not very structured but effective for me:

  • I come across a novel thought, intriguing paper or article in any of the sources I consume (Twitter, LinkedIn, (too many) Newsletters, recommendations from services I use to store and retrieve info in, or through things told/shared by colleagues), or
  • I deliberately have searched for the topic because I got a pointer “offline”,
  • I then tend to deep-dive down the rabbit hole, and from there collect1 as many insights I can about that particular thought (usually following links/pointers from the original source), or
  • I deep-dive into the author’s “archives” and hunt for and collect more novel thoughts from them, and
  • I follow the authors sources (if on Twitter or LinkedIn) and interact with their postings to signal the platform my interest in the topic to bring up more in the near future
  • Eventually, long after having gone down a specific rabbit hole, I tend to come back to the material because of a real need. This might e.g. be in a project I’m working on, because of a question that came up, in a discussion where I remember having seen something or because of something else that triggered my memory on “that thing” I came across a long time ago. If needed for some kind of work, I review it again, and if still of relevance “share” it by including/referencing it in my work If that looks like I’m essentially double-filtering and doing the “seek>sense>share” twice, then that’s probably true. The value of this for me is the following: because I interact quickly and repeatedly on novel information when I initially come across it, I more easily remember later on that there “was a thing” about that topic. And because the platforms I use to store information (see below) offer full-text search without a lot of work on my side, I will usually find the relevant bits and pieces quickly once I really need them.

  • reshare or even cross-post the initial pointer if I deem it valuable on itself for my network and to leave a trace and signal interest/intent about the topic to the platform, adding a personal comment along the way, and/or
  • Save the initial and subsequent website / twitter thread to Pocket to make it searchable, or
  • send me a PDF of the article into my mailbox or my computer, and/or
  • add it to Zotero when it’s a “proper” scientific article The main value of this approach really lies in accumulating a critical mass of information and pointers and early interactions which help anchor the topic and its concept in my brain so that I know that I know something and will find it again if I need it. This post is part of my journey into “Personal Knowledge Mastery” (Or #PKM) and the PKMastery workshop led by Harold Jarche

  1. Collecting in my case means the following: ↩︎

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