Follow interesting people – read interesting things!

I realized a few weeks ago that my twitter feed was populated mostly by people who I see on the regular: friends from school, my boyfriend, some of his friends, etc. I had somehow created a Google bubble around my tweets. Twitter is a great place to read about cool new things, but the cool things that interest me (ux/ui stuff, information architecture stuff, writing stuff) weren’t making it onto my feed.  I didn’t know who to follow, and I didn’t know how to change that.

I was lucky enough to snag a ticket for Brooklyn Beta last year, and I remembered that there was a page on their site that listed the twitter profiles of all of the attendees. A bit of googling and searching through my email archive revealed it.  There were a few hundred attendees, so I searched for people mentioning UX, UI, and Information Architecture, and found a slew of interesting people, some of whom I followed.

Mandy Brown in particular has transformed me into a bit of a fangirl… a very polite, uncreepy fangirl. She posts incredibly interesting links, seems to be doing fantastic work, and was an inspirational speaker when I saw her at Brooklyn Beta. I’ve not yet figured out how to express “I want to be her when I grow up” as an adult, but that is the feeling I have.

Following smart, interesting people has resulted in me reading a ton of smart, interesting articles. I’m not sure why this surprised me, but it did. As I venture out of academia and into professional life, my twitter feed has grown in importance as a tool for keeping abreast of new tools, trends, and issues, and is a way to keep learning outside of school.

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