What I Read and How I Read It

While I may be on the leading edge of consumption trends (translation: I’m a spoiled geek who likes new shiny gadgets), I think it’s important to understand how things work and how they might look to the public at large in a few years.

RSS

While I admit rss is not a technology that is ever going to be adopted by the mainstream (see the big fat rss lie), it’s still something I use almost daily. For my projects, client projects, and search related industry news (and the occasional bit of humor), I use Google reader. I skim through the the posts first thing in the morning. Unless it’s urgent, I send it off to instapaper (more on that below) to read later. The Google rss converter has made this really efficient for sites that don’t publish rss directly. Since I started using an iPad, I use the mobile rss app that syncs up with Google reader. The cloud based synchronization is key for me and I feel will be for others in the future. I used to use newsrack, but the recent update made it unusable. Pulse is a good app, but the font is too small for my liking and the lack of instapaper integration made it a deal breaker for me. The mobile rss app also lets me send things to instapaper right from the app, which is another key feature. Check the end of this post for a client sanitized list of feeds I read.

Netvibeso

For sites that I run and Twitter accounts I run for myself or clients, I need things to write about, link to, or tweet about. Netvibes is the tool I use to get things done. I set up one tab per industry and quickly parse through it every day or two. I use easytweets to schedule my tweets in the future so I can get things done, have a life, and go on vacation without losing momentum (see my easytweets review).

iPad News apps

I mentioned before that the iPad has changed how I consume media and interact with social media sites. I’ll read stuff, tweet out links that are interesting, send them to instapaper, or email them to myself to remind me to schedule them later with easytweets.

Instapaper

Instapaper is one of my favorite apps. It saves me a tremendous amount of time. I’m also glad to say I’m a paying pro supporter of the service. Instapaper allows me to read content in a stripped down, text only version, and it allows me to do it offline–useful for times when I’m on a plane, on vacation someplace that doesn’t have wifi, or in another country that my 3G plan doesn’t cover. The most important aspect is cloud based synchronization. So I can send items to instapaper from my computer, then I can read them while I’m on a treadmill at the gym (using my iPhone) or on a plane (using the iPad). Once I am back on the grid, a quick refresh brings everything back in sync. Another cool aspect: I can forward a tweet or link to instapaper and it is smart enough to follow the trail and extract the content. The stripped down and extracted content has two important aspects. First, partial feeds don’t work with instapaper so, if you publish partial feeds, you suck and should rethink that practice. Second, learning how to push  out content and ads where the ads don’t get stripped out will become more important in the coming years (see advertising and usability)

Flipboard

Flipboard is a cool new iPad app that takes content from your Twitter, Facebook, and other news sources, extracts it, and presents it in magazine format. Legally, it is on questionable ground, but it’s really cool, easy, and just a plain fun way to get your news and content.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2vpvEDS00o[/youtube]

The thing Flipboard underscored for me is that you need to moderate who can put things in your streams if you want it to be useful, effective, interesting, and not polluted with spam. (see the SEO community friends and scorpions).

My feed list

I debated publishing this list for a while but decided to do it. You may find some well known marquee name SEO and marketing feeds aren’t on the list. To be honest the quality on a lot of SEO blogs is hit or miss nowadays, and I don’t have time to wade through the posts. When one of them does make a noteworthy post it will get retweeted by enough people and will find me anyway, so I don’t worry about “missing” the news as much as I used to. The second is I don’t have time for multiple-posts-per-day blogs. I know there are a lot of SEO news blogs that do this and they are high quality, but I just don’t have the time to read 3-6 posts per day. Sorry.

photo credit: henribergius

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