When I first began using Twitter, I'd read tweets and answer "what are you doing?" right from the site. I soon realized that wasn't the "cool" way to go about it, so I got set up with Tweetdeck (the simple and fast way to experience Twitter). I soon had my favorites set up (for both Twitter and Facebook, a nice touch) and while I still head to Twitter to scroll through the 'general' tweets coming in, I now update both sites' status from Tweetdeck.
From the dashboard, I can see at a glance what my favorite people are talking about, as well as get direct messages and see any mentions I've received. Pretty neat.
Now enter Twitter Lists. A couple weeks ago, Twitter rolled out their new function which allows users to create their own lists, add people to it, and other people can even follow your lists (and vice versa). So now not only can you choose who you follow, you can lump them into specific groups so you don't have to scroll through all your "Twitter favorites" on Tweetdeck or - gasp, live on the site - you can just click on a list and voilà, you can read what you want to read.
It's even easy to find any lists you've been added to - and you can choose whether or not to follow those lists.
This is just one of the many ways it's getting easier and easier to pick and choose the content you want to see online. Yesterday, Google stepped up to the plate and offered the creation of custom news. While not a true function of social media, it is a way to customize content - similar to Tweetdeck's favorites and the relatively new Twitter lists.
I played around with this function this morning and created a couple 'newsreels' - reel-time news, perhaps? - even though I don't think I've ever visited Google News.
So why am I trying it? Well...I do subscribe to multiple RSS feeds, and the first thing I do in the morning - coffee in hand - is check out Google Reader. Thing is, I get a lot of articles in there that I don't want to read. Even though I've decided to pull articles from TechCrunch, Mashable, All in One SEO Pipe, etc., the articles contained within those sites aren't always something I want to read.
Now, maybe with a customized Google News section, I can get more relevant articles because I've "made" the news topics relevant to me. So, the big question is: are functions like Twitter Lists and customized Google News going to make RSS feeds obsolete?