i3 | October 06, 2021

Filtering out the Noise in your Feeds

Jake Sigal

Business Advice for Entrepreneurs

I am a strong proponent of free speech and a free and impartial media, and that doesn’t just go for the speech I like or agree with.

In business, though, it’s important for me to be able to filter both the topics that show up in my feed, and the context in which they appear. I’ve noticed a new trend of seeing only “advertorial” content in my business newsfeeds. It’s becoming more difficult to distinguish actual industry trends from paid or biased content.

The bigger issue is the prevalence of personal, social and political topics showing up on my work channels. I like my work-related digital feeds to be like the business section of a news site, and I’ve worked hard to keep my feeds separate.

Again, I don’t want to be shielded from opinions I don’t agree with. What I’m looking for is a filtered view of business-related topics. With filters in place, the off-topic noise gets cut, and the view I see still includes relevant opinions and self-promotion I don’t necessarily like.

Here are some of the things that have worked for me:

Filter Your Inbox

Full disclosure: I’m an inbox zero guy. I’ve been diligent during the pandemic to mark emails as spam. It’s a simple process but I’ve found that with Google Workspace, the spam filter works very well. I’ve also used filters to direct those emails I like to “have” but don’t want in my feed to a separate folder automatically. 

Mute Them on LinkedIn

Facebook-style posts have officially landed on LinkedIn and it appears they are here to stay. The easiest way to filter is to mute anyone who posts or shares things that are annoying and obviously inappropriate for LinkedIn. It may seem harsh and subjective, but it’s my time and I have decided to filter out that noise.

I have no issues with anyone posting whatever they want on LinkedIn. But as the end-user of the platform, I get to control what I see on this business community site. I only wish that LinkedIn would share anonymously with each of us how many mutes we have. I think that would be very constructive for some, or at least an interesting macro stat.

Here are a few more filterable services I use to limit what would otherwise be the deafening and counterproductive noise in my business newsfeed:

Google Alerts: These are awesome. I use them for the top 10 things I want to track and how often I want the updates. Voilà!

CTA SmartBrief: These daily snapshots of industry news feature content from a list of leading providers. They’re the fastest way to keep up with tech news, and they have inspired me to seek out other, similar sources.

Investment Banker Newsletters: I’ve found that investment banker newsletters typically do a great job of rounding up the news in a specific industry. I do have to filter out some of the posts by subject, but, it’s a free and useful way to stay on top of macro trends.

i3 magazine September/October 2021 cover

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