‘Flow’ – day 3 – the volume is up

The flow is going and it’s time for plumbing improvements and deeper details on this process…

Really Big Pipe

Image courtesy of Komax Systems

Day 3

The question most people have been asking is, “What is the flow like?” Many have described this amount of flow as unmanageable and anti-social. Here’s what I’ve learned first-hand by Day 3…

After wrapping up yesterday’s post and promising to add 500+ friends per day, I destroyed my sleep cycle by obsessively discovering more than 1,000 new people. Since I’m a developer and VP of Engineering at iofy, I focused on developers and technology gurus. I’m also fond of the marketing and sales spaces as they relate to social networks, so spent some time beefing up that area of the flow too.

I do this by finding the most intelligent/witty/interesting people I can and spider through to their friends. Unlike a spammer, I only add a person if their tweets have been interesting and intelligent and I feel they’ll contribute to my education.

I woke this morning to a faster flow. At times today it closed in on my maximum reading speed, especially 9-5. With ~2,200 friends I’m now able to see instant changes in volume based on time of day, news, etc. Last night at 1:00am EDT, it was trickling. Before getting to the office it was still slow. Later, it drastically picked up. I’m getting metrics now and will share them tomorrow.

Our company president, @cart, supplied me with Steve Gillmor’s “Swarmtracking” this morning. Steve has a very similar approach but instead of using a Jabber client he uses the built in GMail web app and has search criteria. His article describes some good methods for tuning and searching, but the methods are distracting and require action (clicks). I also disagree with comparing this to a tracking system. One can use it that way, but it’s so much more powerful as a system for being fed valuable information.

What is the flow?

Reading and consuming the flow is like streaming a Google Search of the latest happenings that relate to you. Imagine a constant stream of somewhat relevant information. You scan as links and tidbits pass by. When something catches your eye, you click a link or respond with insight. Depending on one’s popularity, the flow splashes, much like a rock tossed in a river. One can see multiple splashes as multiple topics hit your flow at the same time.

The “Replies” page on Twitter.com works as an automatic net so I can listen to anyone speaking directly to me. It’s an automatic net and no further filtering is needed.

Unlike an RSS reader, this is real-time. My preference is to have an RSS reader open in 3/4 of my monitor and the flow open in the other 1/4. It’s immersion.

Additional thoughts and how-to (after the jump):

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