Mobile discovery is becoming something that I am beginning to rely on more and more in order to find good link opportunities. While I do try not to work on and off all the time, I have found that a leisurely stroll through the following iPad apps and other mobile-friendly tools is amazing for uncovering some awesome potentials, especially when I am not multitasking and dealing with employees/clients.
There’s such an overload of information out there on the web right now that keeping up without a bit of help is impossible, so I’ve started really relying on ways to quickly get through all of the information that I can. Here are my three current favorites.
I’ve become fairly obsessed with the iPad and have been finding it quite useful in uncovering some serious gems. One of the best things about using iPad apps for discovery is that everything is so well presented.
Zite is my go-to iPad app, period. I use it for reading about all the things that interest me (usually things I wouldn’t honestly take the time to search for) and especially for industry-related new content. After using Zite for just a few weeks, I’ve found tons of sources for great information that had never before come to my attention.
You can choose which categories you want to see results from, thumb them up or down so that the app learns more about what to show you, and socialize/email from the pieces themselves. Zite has alerted me to some amazing industry blogs that I’ve never read before, and I’ve uncovered some awesome pieces written by people with whom I’ve been unfamiliar so far.
Flipboard is really useful for going through your social media feeds. It hooks up to Facebook and Twitter and presents the information in a way that makes you want to spend even more time on social media, creating what amounts to a personalized social media magazine for you. I’m addicted to digital magazines so this has been a really great way for me to keep up on what everyone’s talking about. Again, it’s a great way to find new content that is relevant for your purposes, whatever they may be.
Web and Email Tools
I just found out about Summify (which is not strictly mobile-use, but it’s how I use it) recently thanks to Twitter, and already I love it. You can connect it to your Google Reader, Twitter, and/or Facebook accounts and receive a summary email pulling the best stories for you that have come from those networks. The frequency of delivery varies from once every 6 hours to weekly, so it’s a great way to get the most interesting items and not have to stay on top of things nonstop.
While this is definitely not limited to mobile discovery, I enjoy reading summaries on my iPhone and iPad and am more likely to read something like this when I have a bit of downtime. You can choose to have your summaries visible to others, and you can read others’ summaries, which can lead you to some really cool stuff that you might not see otherwise depending upon your social networks. It’s very helpful for taking a weekend off from the computer and catching up on Monday. The emailed summary gives you the info on how many tweets and Facebook shares have occurred and shows you the original tweet/share plus who retweeted/shared it. I particularly like the way it gives you the piece’s title. However, the one thing I don’t like is that clicking a link here will take you to a Summify frame.
This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it is only about mobile (and 100% free) methods of doing discovery. If you have other good ways of doing this, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Since all of these deal with social media, they’re also a great way to find new connections who share your interests, thus leading to even more potential link opportunities.