Building a great knowledge base (for free!)

Your time is valuable when you're running a small company. This is how I manage to build a great knowledge base and fill a content marketing pipeline.. and its free!

Jay realized he probably wasn't the best "employee" any longer after leading his first start up for three years so he decided to do it again.  He founded The Powell Group in 2010 and the team has grown steadily since. If it has to do with a contract, he and his team can probably help at

Another point I hit on at GDC Next this year was the use of today's tech "hacks" to build a knowledge base that also fuels your content marketing. All told this process spans Feedly, Pocket, Buffer, IFTTT, and Evernote but it costs NOTHING, and once you have a system set up it is actually simple to use. I have no doubt there are probably easier ways to do this so if you know a solution that still costs nothing and is easier, I'm all ears. Just leave a note in the comments.

First, make sure your news sources are streaming into a single location, if at all possible. I use RSS feeds fired into Feedly and categorized. I'll go through this list at night, skim the headlines and see what looks interesting. When I find an article I want to share or retain I share it to Pocket and tag it. Tags are important for two reasons:

  1. They allow me to easily find and categorize your articles.  For example, any article containing real statistics and numbers is tagged "data" so I can easily find it later.
  2. When paired with IFTTT I can automate multiple actions as "recipes."

Within IFTTT I have several recipes, or actions, set up to make my life a bit easier. Specific tags will automatically email an article to a team member for a specified action. Other tags automatically file articles in Evernote. You might ask at this point, "Wait, doesn't Pocket let you file the articles already?"  Yes, but within Evernote I have pre-defined notebooks shared with specific people or companies, e.g., for a client, for a conference (so clients we're working with can find everything we need in one place), for colleagues. I will also group articles together with a similar theme, like our post on biz dev articles for developers. This lets me go back and create more of these summary articles. With the volume of articles I read through in a week it is often easier for me to do this than to share all the articles to our social networks.

And speaking of sharing, I have found Buffer is my favorite option.  I can read an article in Pocket and instantly share that through Buffer to the company social network pages as well as my applicable personal ones.  Buffer also lets me space the timing out so I don't flood networks whenever I'm reading the articles.

For me, Pocket is by far the linchpin of this process. Good tags in Pocket will make your life much easier.

When you are an entrepreneur you absolutely have to master your time management, and any amount of streamlining helps. If you've got suggestions for other / better tools, I'd love to hear about them. Looking forward to your comments!

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