Personal Publishing: Curating a Fire hydrant down to a trickle



For years now I have consumed a large amount of feeds in Google Reader. I have also been creating my own content. I have had to build a number of tools to publish the way I want. In my talk I can talk about my system, and how others can build something like it.


Social Media is a stream, well more like a river, or a torrent of information flowing past you. Given that we have been trained by email, far to many people think they need to consume it all. They think of it as a task to be done like email, and they end up thinking about the drudgery of it, and not how fun it can be. Social media has to be fun, or it won’t work for you. You are going to be fishing for good stuff. Tools are your first line of defense. The best curators though, also create. Starting can be hard, but curating almost always lead people up the social media pyramid to creating.

In my talk I want to first talk about theories that can help people understand the difference between the new communication technologies, and what we have used for the 50 years before this. Knowing the theories can have an astounding difference in how you use new media.

After I have given a primer on new media, I want to talk about my filtering system that I use to aggregate well over a 1000 feeds, while letting it still be useful, and not overpowering.

Finally, I will talk about my system for publishing. This is harder then one would think, for a prodigious curator without any system for trickling out the content, you can quickly over whelm people. The other problem being that you want what you share to be as many places as possible, while at the same time you might want to keep track of how many people are seeing your stuff. There is no one system that can do all of this, and it takes some hacking to get it working.

The talk will be useful for many reasons. While my talk is about personal publishing, it’s also about how even in this age of the hyper niche people can still find them selves not being catered too. When that happens you sometimes need to whip out some code to fill in the gaps. It’s amazing how little code goes along way. Anyone who is afraid for the future of journalism would be interested to. I think that much of what I do could be the beginning of a new form of journalism, and could be used be real journalists to improve their throughput.

Speaking experience


  • Profile2

    Alex Kessinger

    Mixed Media Labs


    I have been hacking since I was 12, built my first, and broke my first linux box when I was 13. Eventually I starting building websites, and I got to work at Yahoo. Now I am working for a startup in SF called Mixed Media Labs, we build Picplz.