Angela Dunn
March 13, 2014

Why You Should Curate Interests Not Just Specialties Part 2

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn

Quality vs. Quantity in Social Media

Despite all the advice of quality over quantity, people craving attention in the social media world are obsessed with those with large numbers of followers. The problem is that there is a lot of “faux influence”. I have seen a lot of smart people hoodwinked in social media.

Instead of being impressed with someone with a lot of followers, seek out the many benefits of sharing deeply with someone more interested in shared learning than their influence. One of the biggest advantages of social media is growing a PLN or personal learning network

“For the first time in history, we know now how to store virtually all humanity’s most important information and make it available, almost instantly, in almost any form, to almost anyone on earth. We also know how to do that in great new ways so that people can interact with it, and learn from it.” – Dryden and Vos, The Learning Revolution

The Age of Collective Learning

As Rotana Ty writes, we are in an “Age of Collective Learning“.  He quotes Marcia Conner:

“Every day, I connect and learn from people across the world through social technologies. Some of these people I’ve met in person, increasingly they are people I didn’t know before social media. From them, I glean new insights about topics I set out to learn as well as get introduced to new topics and related information I didn’t realize would help round out what’s important to my life and in my work.”

The biggest benefit, as Marcia points out, is that you will connect over “weak ties” to find new topics and people you did not realize were valuable – and that lead you to serendipitous results.

GOAL: Find five people around each of your interests to share deeply with.

How to Curate People for your Interests

Although there are many tools to find “influencers”, how do you find people to truly engage with deeply around your interests?  Here are a few tools and tips.

1.  Who else shared an article you are interested in?

Have you recently read or shared an article that really resonated with you? Were you really excited to share it, and exchange ideas about it?  Who else shared it?

2.  Use Topsy for Twitter Research


A simple free tool to find who else shared an article on Twitter is Topsy. Just enter the URL or link for your article in Topsy’s search box, and find who else retweeted and shared it. The beauty of Topsy is that it will show you all the different automatic and manual tweets shared for the URL and the Twitter usernames. Take your time to really read the conversations.

The most interesting people don’t just share the title of the article, they typically find the most interesting idea or quote from the article to tweet or post.

These are the real gems, and great people with whom to connect.
TO-DO:  Create a Twitter list of people to follow who shared an article of extreme interest to you.
For example, see the Twitter list I created for Rotana’s article on Collective Learning.

3.  How to Find Articles Shared in Google+

You can also search a URL or link in the Google+ search box to see who shared it. The results in Google+ will only show publicly shared URLs. (You can also see the URL shared by people who are connected with you, and shared the URL with you.)

TO-DO: Create a circle of people to follow on Google+ around this topic.

Engage deeply, not superficially, with people in these circles.

4.  Additional Tips

  • Learn the social language around your interest. Study the hashtags used by the people sharing the article. Search Twitter and Google+ for more content and people sharing around these hashtags. Read Part 1 of “Why You Should Curate Interests, Not Just Specialties” to see how you can track hashtags and set up alerts to curate information around your topics.


“All the world is my school and all humanity is my teacher.”  – George Whitman
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