Our Summify Spotlight series showcases how everyday people use Summify, sharing their productivity tips and favorite sources to help you get the most out of your summaries.
About Nathan: Nathan Chase is a multimedia designer and developer living in central Florida, an online culture and social networking enthusiast, a proud father, an avid PC and console gamer, an incessant movie watcher, known for an eclectic musical taste, periodically avoiding being shot by paintballs, and often writing and performing music – on the drums, guitar, piano, or computer. He is also co-founder of the popular movie ranking tool, Flickchart.
What problem does Summify solve for you?
I’ve been looking for a solution to remove the “noise” from the “signal” of the deluge of daily content the web brings us for years. The amount of sharing is growing so fast that it makes it difficult to keep up with what’s important. Note, this means what’s important to me, not what generally constitutes “important news”. Social networks, in general, tend to focus our efforts and allow us to gather our attention towards those we either care about or respect. So, it’s incredible that it’s taken as long as it has for a company to create something that actually incorporates the benefits these social networks provide.
Summify is by far the closest thing to what I’ve imagined was capable of accomplishing the task. Using Summify, I’m able to hook into these networks (Google, Twitter, Facebook) and properly harness the power of influence and trends within those networks to deliver the absolute, must-know items of the day. With Summify delivering my “top 10″ stories every 4 hours, I can rely on the knowledge that if it was important, I didn’t miss it. It also, by virtue of using the likes, comments, and share totals, is able to mostly eliminate duplicate content from permeating my news feed. There’s nothing more annoying than receiving the same piece of news 9 different ways, so it’s a welcome respite from a sea of sources all talking about the same stuff over, and over, and over again.
What does Summify help you achieve?
I’m an early adopter, and a junkie for staying on top of the latest news, stories, and events within my interests via the Internet. After using so many different types of sites and tools, it’s apparent that many fail to understand the multi-layered complexities that are inherent in a user’s interests. It’s not about me putting in my top 10 interest keywords and getting something back that’s marginally interesting. I want something that uses what I’ve already personally curated to filter out the uninteresting and ephemeral, and to do it without significant effort on my part.
Since I work as both a freelancer designer, and a web startup founder/designer/developer/marketer/social media manager, it’s essential to keep eyes and ears open for the bleeding edge of technologies and innovations that are happening throughout the industry or what specifically pertains to my startup, Flickchart, with its focus on movies. I can quickly ascertain if there’s something I need to follow or cover within the film industry, or catch a topic that’s hitting the web design world, all within my Summify digests. It’s powerful stuff. Not to mention that all the while I’ve also got a wife and kids, an indie rock band, and all the latest TV, video games, and other entertainment vying for my attention. We all could use a little help getting to the good stuff so that we can spend more time learning and less time searching.
The key to why I think Summify’s different is that it doesn’t try to give me everything. It only gives me the best – in digests. Other solutions often overwhelm with options or simply too much content. The mobile view in particular is my preferred interface to Summify now, so that I can make sure to get the latest stories wherever I’m at.
Did you have a solution before Summify?
I’ve always relied on RSS and Google Reader to bring me the news I want, rather than what media hubs, businesses, and corporations think I want. I’ve certainly tried other services; My6Sense, Redux, Favit, Xydo, Cadmus, and several others that just didn’t take hold with me. The biggest problem is that it has to be simple, it has to be accurate, and it absolutely has to work with Google Reader given the investment I’ve put into it as a tool. So many other services expect me to pull in my RSS feeds one at a time, or give me no way to pull in my subscriptions at all. Summify’s the one that’s worked the best amidst the services I already use.
Do you use any other tools in conjunction with Summify?
I still rely on the original sources Summify pulls from (Google Reader, Twitter, and Facebook) to stay on top of things up-to-the-minute – and also now on Google+. For Google Reader, Google+, and Facebook, I use their web apps or mobile counterparts, but for Twitter, I almost exclusively use TweetDeck for its power user capabilities. I’m also still a user and fan of social aggregator, FriendFeed, for all of the social innovations it’s inspired at Facebook and Google+. I also occasionally frequent more specific content aggregation portals like Reddit or BuzzFeed to find things that might be trending outside of my social circles.
What advice can you offer for Summifyers to help them get the most out of their summaries?
I’d say the best thing to do is to not be afraid to follow more people on Twitter, or subscribe to more people on Facebook. Likewise, don’t limit yourself to only a few RSS feeds in Google Reader. Seek out more quality sources and your digest will only improve. I’m currently subscribed to 318 different RSS feeds within tech, gadgets, trends, development, music, gaming, and a lot of other niches. The more variety there is to analyze, the better quality selections Summify can make.
10 of my favorite blogs:
Engadget – obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics
Neatorama – new and neat stuff
Smashing Magazine – online magazine for pro Web designers and developers, focusing on techniques and best practices
Lifehacker – Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done.
GameInformer – premier destination for video game and entertainment enthusiasts
io9 – io9 is a daily publication that covers science, science fiction, and the future.
MetaFilter – a community weblog that anyone can contribute to
BoingBong – see for yourself!
Mashable – largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology
The Flickchart Blog – if they’re all five start movies, which ones are the best?
Want to hear more? You can connect with Nathan on Summify, on Twitter as @nathanchase or check out his website nathanchase.com.
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