Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Information Overload Part II

Last week, I talked about organizing all the articles and blog posts I read throughout the week and turning them into mini-courses in Professional Development in order to develop myself professionally. However, there’s also a ton of material on these topics that’s only available in video or audio form. So how do you handle that?

Basically the same way.

Here’s what I do:

  1. Follow the link. Watch maybe a minute of the video to see if it appeals (unless it’s really short—then watch the whole thing and see if it’s something you want to keep)
  2. Download it to a folder. Organize these folders by topic and/or presenter
  3. Collect numerous themed videos
  4. Watch later, like a lecture series
  5. Profit

Do podcasts the same way.

The only tricky part of this is the downloading bit. Some places really don’t want you downloading their video. I figure if they don’t want me downloading their video, then they’re not that committed to getting me to watch it. So I download it myself. (Please note—FOR MY OWN PERSONAL USE.)

There are several tools available to download video from YouTube and other places. Many of these work for almost any embedded video. If you’re on Firefox I recommend Download Helper or DownThemAll. If you’re not on Firefox, I apologize but you’ll have to Google your own tools. I never did find anything for Chrome that I was happy with, and if you’re on Explorer you have more problems than I can deal with here.

Anyway. There are also conversion tools you can use to convert video so you can play it on your iPod. (Some video is immediately playable on the iPod without conversion, and most podcasts are.) Going to the gym? Load up the iPod with video or podcasts on blogging success or how to turn your freakish obsession with vampires into profit and fame and plug it into the TV on the elliptical and have at it. We call that multitasking. It’s supposed to be bad for you, so I do it as often as possible. Or listen to podcasts in the car while you’re driving to the store for your vital medication (I don’t recommend watching video in the car unless someone else is driving).

I hope this helps you utilize some of the information you’re undoubtedly collecting, to make it easier to access and more relevant. Hopefully it’ll help us all get to step 6 more efficiently.