Someone recently asked me how I do what I do to stay on top of, curate, and share information in the Immigrant and Refugee-serving sector. I realized that my strategy hasn't actually changed that much in over 17 years. Sources and tools, yes. But not the overall approach I continue to use today. I thought I'd share what I wrote back.
To start with, I have a fairly standard information flow, which hasn't changed dramatically over the years.
Here are 2 articles from 2015 and 2016 that outline an approach that still serves me to this day, even if some of the technologies have changed.
Sharing is caring: becoming a trusted source through online curation
RSS feeds: what they are and how to use them
Actually, even further back, here's a 2009 presentation that outlines this, if you prefer video and the article if you'd like more context - Video: Really Simple Strategies Keeping Track Of Your Organization And Issues Online:
I thought about how I might augment it to bring it more up to date. In particular, to acknowledge newer people in my network who I’ve continued to learn from and whose approaches and models have influenced and improved my work.
Then I realized I already had been writing and talking about them!
So I’m adding those articles to my post to create a bit of a curated article about how I do what I do.
On information sharing and sense-making
I'm sharing a bunch of really great workshop and webinar recordings along a loose theme - information seeking, sharing, and sense-making. Each of these recordings stand alone, but they are worth considering along this theme and all contribute to some aspect of it.
Lighting the Way - Leveraging Knowledge for the Future of Settlement
I participated on a panel looking at knowledge mobilization and knowledge management in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector. This panel highlighted the value of knowledge management and mobilization for informed decision-making within the settlement sector.
You can watch the panel here if you want:
In particular, I want to bring your attention to Harold Jarche's Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) model, which is built on this notion of sense-making, and sharing.
Currently, email, newsfeeds, and LinkedIn are my main sources. My suggestion is to follow everyone relevant to what you're looking for, subscribe to their email lists, join their communities, follow their pages on LinkedIn, follow or connect with their staff on LinkedIn if they share relevant posts in their feed.That includes academics, government, service providers, Newcomers doing work/talking about these issues, and individual workers/leaders who write, share, or think out loud about all of the stuff you're interested in.
For those sites that share RSS feeds, I recommend Feedly to help organize them. I follow a ridiculously overwhelming number of feeds in Feedly, but categorizing them helps me stay focused and prioritizes my newsfeed for me. For non-RSS feeds, you can use keyword searches you might want to keep tabs on. Experiment with Google searches that get you what you want, then save them as Google Alerts.
You can then choose to have those alerts come to you by email, or by RSS feeds, which you can bring into Feedly. If you choose email, either set up filters, or create a separate account to manage the emails. Because as you add more, you can get overloaded with emails.
Then become really good at filtering. 🙂
Also, check out sites that try to curate or publish information you're interested in. I manage a site where I try to curate interesting research. Here's an example of publications related to Newcomers and employment.
There are so many reports I don't have, and don't always have time to add, so I've also created a custom search engine to search sites where you will find reports and research on Canadian immigration and settlement.
Also, I partnered with WES to bring their Global Talent Bridge Research Summaries onto my site (referenced in the panel presentation video above). You can get a weekly summary of interesting research and stories mainly related to Canadian employment and immigration.
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