The Simple 3-Step Process for Automating Your Greatest Personal Strengths

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Welcome to the future. This is the curation of curation. The best of the best with absolutely no effort.

For a long time, I’ve known that one of my unique abilities is as a curator and creator of content.

I think that I’m really good at “connecting the dots” between disparate pieces of information to develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

A lot of that comes from the massive amount of content I process on a daily basis. I typically go through about a thousand blog posts, two dozen newsletters, and as many podcasts pretty regularly.

I’m always looking for the newest and best tips, tricks, research and apps to make people more effective. The thing is that I could never quite explain to anyone why a particular piece of content might strike me as interesting.

But the end result is that I duct tape together a piece of psychological research with an automation platform and a news article from a podcast and end up with a process that can 10x someone’s business.

The problem is keeping up the habit.

I love gleaning all that information but at some point the return on your time goes down. Plus, if you slow your pace of input or stop entirely for a period of time, it’s really hard to get back up to speed.

I also hear from clients all the time about the fear of missing out. otherwise known as FOMO. They know that there is industry news, or insider knowledge, that they have access to but they never have the time to get to it.

The result is an overflowing inbox, a messy Evernote or Trello board, and a constant state of stress that everyone knows something you don’t.

I have used Feedly for years to follow over 200 different blogs every day and was pretty obsessive about staying on top of all the latest information available.

I’m happy to inform you that as of today I never plan on looking at Feedly again, and the curation of content that the Less Doing community will not only keep going, it become more prolific.

I Love MonkeyLearn

MonkeyLearn is a machine learning platform, you can teach it to categorize things that you — as unique and interesting human — would. I wrote previously about how I used this tool to pick through relevant press opportunities and deliver them to me.

Now I wanted to see if I could teach it to curate content that way that I do.

Step 1 — Getting the Feeds

Ive built up my collection of blog feeds in Feedly over the years, it’s a carefully pruned grouping of sites that give me the information that I want. First thing was to export that which Feedly does in the form of an OPML file.

Then I found someone who built an online converter to turn an OPML file into a CSV file so I could upload it into a Google docs sheet.

For the Product Hunt stuff, the RSS feed didn’t have enough data for me so I went to to see if someone had downloaded a massive dataset of Product Hunt posts and sure enough they had.

Finally I needed to combine all the feeds into one nice package so I could “show” it to MonkeyLearn. For that I used RSSmix.

Step 2 — Teach the Machine

Now it was just a matter of creating a new “classifier” in MonkeyLearn, hooking in these feeds and then categorizing posts as either COOL or LAME. It took me about 10 minutes to go through the various items and in the end, the machine said it was pretty accurate.

I was blown away. I was able to transpose my unique ability to a web based application in 10 minutes and achieve a result that it believes will be 80% as good as me.

I can’t help but think of the 80/20 rule here over and over again.

Step 3 — Create the Automation

Now it was a simple matter of creating the Zapier recipe to distribute the info. So anytime a new item came up, MonkeyLearn would classify it, if it was consider “cool” then it would post it to a Slack channel as well as create a new card in Trello for me to process later.

Done and dusted, as my British friends say.

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