Email overload? Right. That used to be the problem. Now the trick is handling social media overload.. With multiple and ever multiplying streams, updates, invites, RSS feeds and other social data too numerous to list crowding your online life, social media makes email look stone etchings. Ancient.
Check out the freeware app, my6sense. It’s my choice for handling and curating all those streams coming in — and will help on the flipside, too.
You’ll see My6sense really shines if you don’t give two bytes about what Joe Schmoe had for breakfast or to which Lady Gaga song Suzy in Santa Cruz in listening to on Spotify.
Now my6Sense is a smart reader application for handling social and RSS feeds, but with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm twist it calls “digital intuition.” You can find my6sense right at its site, shown below.
My6Sense uses Google Reader’s import to grab all feeds from almost all major social networks and it hones in on what it sees you are really interested in.
It’s possible to add topics that interest you, too. It’ll then match feeds to those topics. Here’s what the app looks like on my Android smartphone. Notice the digital intuition bar at bottom.
To set it all up, hit your device’s menu button and select settings. That’s where you control the back-end options. Here you enter your account information and you’re ready to ascend. It’s so Zen. I’m so Zen I’m still connected to Google Buzz, which is dead for a couple of months now.
The first time you unleash my6sense — especially if you subscribe to a ton of of RSS feeds — do this over WiFi. Here in Kalispell, MT, my 3G connection feel as slow as my old 56k modem. That started happening when the Verizon iPhone came out in these parts, but that’s another story for another column.
On the interface screen, find options for font size, widget tracking, what startup screen you use and the default volume. Why volume? Well, you know how loud that John C. Dvorak can get! If you don’t, check him out here on aNewDomain.
Under content, be sure to set the time filter default. It won’t affect the relevance of your feed items, but it lets you set how old the stories you want to see now. I like my social to be as real time as possible, so I set mine to 48 hours.
Make it 72 hours, 24 hours or even 12 hours — whatever you like. You also are able to set tweets. It curates them just as you’d expect.
There is also a really cool save feature for viewing material later. If you have an Instapaper account, check the box and that will automatically send your saved items there. Then just read them when you have the time.
The advanced setting lets you set how data flows and how freely. Tell it to just preload data on WiFi or let it use any connection. Remember the the more feeds you have — and the more images those feeds have and the frequency you refresh — data usage increases.
Probably you will end up running out of space on your Android device long before you hit any new datacap that some carrier has imposed upon you. If you are running out of space, click Prune Data. That will clear some cache for you.
The my6sense app also gives you the option to keep your data on your SD card or move it to internal storage.
Here’s what my feed looks like now.
Currently, it tells me I am at the transcending stage. That means the way I’ve set up My6Sense is so amazing, I’m on the brink of immortality. Proof? Check this out.
On the top, you will see my All Items feed, sorted by relevance (digital intuition) with a 48 freshness setting. This all goes to show that I am clearly more interested in IPv6 and The Onion than I am with my friend Tim’s dogs or the latest on Stonefly. I have no idea who Stonefly is — a band, probably. But my6Sense knows I don’t care.
Hit your device’s menu button while on the All Items screen to bring up the option to sort by relevance or time.
Of course my6Sense isn’t just for consumption, though that’s what it does best. In addition to receiving, it lets you easily post on a multitude of social platforms — individually or together.
Now for the streams function. Any time you want to get back to the home screen, just tap the my6Sense icon at the top left of your screen.
Tap Streams and click the Option button on your Android device. Now tap Add Content. This gets you to the screen where you select and import the news feeds and topics you want. That’s where the magic happens.
If you don’t have any feeds of your own that you follow or you use a Google Reader account loaded to the gills with RSS goodness, have no fear. Like I stated below, you don’t need any of that to use this as a personal smart news aggregator.
Tap Topics and you will have a bunch of different categories to choose from — a really wide array. Add a topic and my6sense will get what you need from various sites online. Or go back to add all the content. Just tap import to add all the feeds you have in your Google Reader account.
Go back to the Home screen and click options. Here you’ll find the search button, also available by pressing the magnifying glass button on your Android device.
It’s beautiful when technology works. It took me a couple months of steady use to become the master of my digital world. Be patient, though, it’s worth it. True digital mastery — like becoming a Zen master — takes time, Grasshopper.