Seven ways to stay updated: An essential aspect of your Professional Life

Sep 7, 05

This Month

Being current with the latest information in our area of work is a necessity rather than a luxury in today’s workplace. Yet, with the information deluge, we often don’t seem to have the time to read what we should be reading let along keeping up with what we’d like to read!

Did we ever think that computers would help make our jobs more efficient, give us more time to pursue our interests, have more time for ourselves!

As Jonathan Schwartz, President and CEO, Sun Microsystems put it succintly, “You are not about to send fewer email messages, watch fewer movies, or download fewer songs. Demand is unceasing. It is up to us to meet it.”

In this issue, I have tried to explore some efficient ways of keeping oneself updated using the web. While I never think of myself as an embracer of technology, the ‘opportunities to learn’ made possible because of technology continue to amaze and enchant me!

Warm wishes,

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Seven ways to stay updated: An essential aspect of your Professional Life

Set Your Goals

Everyone needs to be up-to-date with the latest in his or her area of work. But the requirements for each individual are different. You need to assess your need based on your personal interests and job requirements to stay current and then proceed to translate that into action.

The following Seven Ways will help you stay tuned to any area of your desire be it a hobby, interest, work related or personal improvement.

1) Use the Alert Service

There are various ways to get updates on areas of your interest:

Use Google’s alert service or GoogleAlert (Not related to Google) to notify you via email whenever any new updates are available in areas of your interest.

In addition, Forrester and Tom Peters Company
provide updates relevant for the service professional. Tom Peters Company provides daily updates on management subjects such as Leadership, Innovation, Excellence, Design, Branding and Books aptly titled ‘the latest headlines on stuff that matters!’

Some of my alerts in Forrester include areas of my interest such as Customer Experience, Customer Relationship Management, eLearning, Human Resources Management Applications, Professional Services and Retail.

RSS (‘Really Simple Syndication’ or ‘Rich Site Summary) is a simpler way to keep updated automatically about websites you like. Most offer such a facility. To learn more about RSS, simply google it!. There are a number of sites that guide you well on this technology.

2) Keeping up to date on Books – Book alerting services

Many online bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble have their own book-alert services where they automatically notify you via email. has the best-known book alerting service.

Use tools like Ingentaconnect. You will have to subscribe to the repository which uses the Ingenta tool. Many public libraries and university libraries use it for their members.

Use another tool ‘BookMarklet’ if your library uses a compatible online catalogue system.

The following sites will keep you abreast with the business books that come out every year, what’s good and the nuggets of wisdom within:

800-CEO-READ: You’ll definitely be on top of what’s happening in the world of business books by reading their thoughtful and well reviewed posts.

Another site where you can good insights into books is Tom Peters’ website – What Tom’s Reading and Interviews with Tom’s Cool Friends.

3) Blogs

If you want know what the issues are being discussed in your field, you must read blogs if you have not already started reading or better still writing one! You get passionate insights, views and opinions you might otherwise not have considered, in-depth analysis and essays in a range of subjects. In addition you might also wish to stay updated on several peripheral issues that you feel you might benefit from but do not have a great interest. Again, you can use RSS to keep updated.

The following link
hci/blogs_blog.guid gives you the most comprehensive list of HR related bloggers out there including ofcourse the Jigyasa blog!

Over a period of time, you create your personal list of favourites.

4) Wikis

Wiki is a novel way of allowing various users to add and enhance the content on the web. The most famous usage of wikis is in the online free encyclopaedia. Since wikis are constantly updated they often contain the latest in the field.

Here is an article from Forbes on wikis.

For example, to prepare for a talk this month on Corporate Blogging, I came across this resource maintained by Charlene Li.

5) Podcasts

Podcasts are audio broadcasts which can be played on mp3 players and on computers. These are great resources for cutting edge knowledge. Checkout all about podcasts at Wikipedia.

Here is a search engine for the podcasts and a Podcast directory.

For example, you can download interviews in the area of interest from the IT Conversations website. Listen to speakers such as Steve Wozniak, Clayton Christensen, Lawrence Lessig, Malcolm Gladwell. Often Webinars and conferences offer podcast downloads. For example, Learning 2005.

6) Conferences and Seminars

There is no substitute for the old fashioned seminars even in modern days. Here is a convincing argument.

Getting involved in organizing a conference or a seminar can bring you closer to professionals in your field like nothing else would. Speaking at a gathering of professionals will motivate you to get even deeper on your subject.

7) Bookmarking Services

Make use of services like, and to discover articles that might attract your interest and reading.

Suggestion of the Month

Since we are in the subject of Personal Productivity, I’d recommend D. Keith Robinson’s blog to learn about in the author’s words “Not only to be productive and do the best work possible, but to free my mind for the weekends and help get the most out of life… as well as work.”


Stay current with updates on the in HR and Customer service