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Become an internet know-it-all in 5 simple steps
Everyone has that friend who’s first on everything. First to post the latest viral video, first to explain the new meme and in before everyone else to share a link and soak up that sweet internet kudos. It must be exhausting being so connected, you might think, but the secret to being an internet know-it-all is a lot more simple.
Every internet whizz kid has their own method, but follow these five simple steps and maybe, just maybe, you’ll manage to pip them to the post on the internet’s next big thing.
1. Use an RSS reader
Knowing the right blogs and websites to read is one thing, but how you read them is just as important. While you might strike lucky flipping through your favorites or bookmarks, using an RSS reader is the fastest way to see what’s happening. If you’re new to RSS, we suggest signing up for Feedly or Pulse, where you can enter all the sites you like the most and check them all at glance. Most RSS readers will allow you to divide your feed into categories – so, if you just want to know about technology, news or sport, click the appropriate tab and filter your search results.
2. Follow the right people
Of course, the real reason your know-it-all friend is first on everything is that they’re stealing it all from an even bigger know-it-all. It’s easy to stay in your bubble on social media, but by widening your circle you’ll widen your access to information. Is somebody has been retweeted into your Twitter timeline, look at their profile to see whether they’re a one-tweet-wonder or worth a follow. Remember though, if you’re going to repost somebody else’s find – it’s bad internet etiquette not to give them credit.
3. Harvest Reddit’s brainpower
Reddit describes itself as the internet’s front page and, sure enough, this is where many of the internet’s biggest stories begin. Penetrating the site’s hideous design may take some doing, but get past it and you’ll find what is essentially a club for all the web’s biggest know-it-alls. Not sure where to start? The front page is always your best bet, but if you feel like digging deeper then these 10 subreddits are all worth keeping an eye on.
4. Listen to more podcasts
If the phenomenal success of Serial has taught us anything, it’s that the podcast is far from dead. By the very nature of their recording process, podcasts are unlikely to get to anything first – but they can go in-depth in a way that is much more difficult for websites. Whatever your interests, there’s probably a panel full of experts discussing it on a podcast – reviewing every episode of Saved By The Bell, for instance – so find your favorites and listen to them religiously.
5. There’s an app for that
Finally, as with almost anything, there are apps for helping you master the internet. Whether it’s simple news apps with push notifications, or a more sophisticated tool like Mashable’s Velocity which sends you alerts as a story is about to go viral, apps will ensure you’re even connected on the go. Just make sure you log-off once in a while and enjoy the real world too.