Monday, September 19, 2016

Main Stream Media And Me: A Year Later

A year ago I cut myself off from going to mainstream media sources for content consumption (with the notable exception of the New York Times in paper form Sunday mornings). I'm here to report that I generally feel more calm, balanced, smarter, and informed. I also feel more aware than ever of just how tied our media consumption is to financial interests. It's been great to disassociate from that to some degree.

I've found it pretty challenging to find regular good sources of "news" and interesting media content. The sad practice that Techcrunch introduced us to so many years ago is now the "norm" for new/alternative online media outlets (such as Huffington Post and Buzzfeed and Medium (kinda reluctant to put Medium in here, but not really.?) and their ilk). Algorithmic content creation, and/or content farming (Techcrunch's original M.O.) that incestuously drives the SEO beast plagues online content creation in the name of "clicks." It's a sad state of affairs out there unfortunately.

I still like my idea around effectively representing the journalist. It'd be a small piece of the puzzle, but an increasingly necessary one as we consume more and more content en-masse that is created by a) machines directly or b) humans that have no journalistic understanding whatsoever. Having an understanding of who/what, and ultimately why, created the content is crucial.

Anyway, I've eliminated mainstream channels of content from my flow. I rely on Feedly to surface content from sources I curate myself (individual's blogs who I care about, Ars Technica, products I care about, companies I care about, etc). I increasingly prefer email "newsletters" that I proactively subscribe to, to provide regular doses of content from curators I care about. That list looks like:

  • https://www.brainpickings.org/ - to eat my regular spinach and broccoli.
  • http://bizwest.com/ - for Colorado-local stuff
  • https://redef.com/ - for music, style, and media stuff
  • http://www.nytimes.com/newsletters - for nytimes digital stuff
  • http://nuzzel.com/ - I use this a little bit, but not much.
  • http://www.boredpanda.com/ - my dirty secret
I use Instapaper and Pocket to collect things that I want to "read later." I use Highly to markup and share content I find interesting with my friends as well as Twitter/Facebook communities.

About Twitter and Facebook. Twitter Moments (and Apple TV app) has become a solid go-to when I'm curious about what's happening "right now."

Facebook is the trashy magazine one flips through to numb their mind by the pool. It's also a great place to stay connected to longtime friends/family. If you consider it a news source, I worry for you to the same degree I worry for Fox News viewers.

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