How do you consume the news?

I have tried lots and lots of different Web applications.  There are some that I think that are pretty cool but there are very few that I use often.   They key is that I have to be able to integrate that Web applications or products into my life.  It  has to be part of some type of repetitive behavior otherwise it will slowly fade off my radar.

One thing that’s been rattling around in my brain is that I don’t do enough to stay up with what’s going on in the world.  I don’t spend enough time reading the news.

The thing is… it seems like I’ve tried every way of consuming the news and none have integrated really well into my life.

I used to get the Washington Post delivered to my door or I’d pick it up at a news stand by work but all too often I’d get home or wake up the next morning and then unread paper newspaper would still be in my bag from the previous day.  I’d try and get up early in the morning to read the paper… that didn’t work.  I’d try reading the physical newspaper at lunch time but I do eat lunch consistently one way.

I’ve tried using the online edition of the newspaper but I keep on forgetting to check it.  I could go two or three days without looking at a news Web site.

When I would look at the news sites, it always felt like I was missing something… like there was relevant news stories buried down deep in there that I wasn’t reading.

A lot of these news sites have  RSS feeds but they will often update them so often that they become not useful.  It’s not practical to read over 50 news items a day from one source.

I guess what I’m saying is that when I have time to read it… I really love the physical newspaper.  It gives me a finite set of news.  It gives the news to me at a pace which feels very palatable (only as fast as I can flip the pages.)

I just haven’t seen online news done that well.

Something feels not right about it and I can’t put my finger on it….

Any of this making sense?  Thoughts?

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8 thoughts on “How do you consume the news?”

  1. I think i am in the same boat as you. I get my tech feeds and handle those pretty well but also want to keep up with news outside of tech and from around the world. seems like most news feeds throw out so much in content that like you said you kinda get lost.

    For me I am trying to get google reader configured or working on my tagging of feeds to try and do the best I can to feed my information habit 😀

    (jeff)isageek

  2. I read the most emailed, most book marked, and then I subscribe to article searches if I get really excited about a news item. Likewise I don’t do RSS feeds to newspapers because I can’t handle the volume they can put out. The only physical paper I read is the express because it is about the right amount of text for a train ride.

  3. It’s kind of cheating, but I’ve been reading Slate’s “Today’s Papers” on and off for what has to be almost 10 years. It’s a daily summary of what’s making the front pages at the major dailies.

  4. I am a news geek and subscribe to RSS feeds from a ton of news sources, but I agree that the volume can be overwhelming. Some newspapers are better than others. Like Ross, said Slate’s today’s papers feed is good for a quick overview. The Post also has a feed called “Today’s Highlights” that is only the most important items for the day, usually less than ten stories a day.

  5. I get most news either from just breaking news emails forwarded to my BlackBerry from email, or from pipes to narrow down the overloaded feeds from local news sites. It’s plenty. Twitter is becoming handy for news, too.

    Tim
    11,148 days

  6. I’ve thought about this quite a bit, and wanted to work with a friend on an electronic presonallisd newspaper based on news feeds and attention rules, but it’s not easy to tell if an item is a snippet or the full item, for that reason alone is why we should fight RSS 2.0 and get the world to move to Atom. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t bother targeting the sucky, sucky Kindle.

  7. Oh, and you should try some UK newspapers like The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent. They’re shadows of their former selves, but a long way ahead of the Washington Post. I guess the risk of an automated feed like Google news is you can easily build USA Today, or inhabit a Techcrunch echo chamber, but it’s ensuring you reliably encounter relevant interesting stuff outside of your experience that’s harder.

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