I’ve noticed a lot of shifts happening in how I get my news and information lately. The main shifts seem to be it comes to me now and I don’t go to it, it’s definitely personalized, and increasingly curated.
Here are the top sources where I get my news and what I’m paying the most attention to now:
Twitter – I follow a lot of people, but pay particular attention to the few dozen folks that I follow via mobile SMS alerts (which might be the strongest signal of who is most important on Twitter – who has the most SMS followers?). @VCDelta is one account I track that way.
Techmeme – Still the best automated news source for startup/tech news in my opinion, and it’s a combination of human curation plus algorithms. It’s constantly updated, and it’s one of my home pages (which is another strong signal of what’s important – what’s on your home page?)
Nuzzel – this is a relatively new one from Jonathan Abrams of Friendster fame – and one reason I like it is because it’s “Pandora for News” – you connect it once to your social graphs, and then it pours back to you a daily ranked listing of the stories your connections are talking (or linking or retweeting) about. Check below to see how Josh’s story about Why First Round Funded a Lawsuit was exploding that day across my social graph. It’s very personalized, very easy, and kind of a daily, personalized Techmeme.
Newsle (pronounced “New-zel”) – This one is very similar to Nuzzle in name but also because of how “Pandora Easy” it is – just plug in your social graphs. But the difference is that Newsle does all the work to understand WHO is being written about or WHO wrote it – and pushing it out to you as it happens. The other cool thing they do along with Nuzzel is make it easy to share and they are able to track engagement and sharing themselves to this third party content. Here’s an example if a “breaking news alert” when one of my contacts was part of a story on a Disney/Netflix content deal.
Job Change Notifier – this one is not just a tool – it’s a WEAPON. I’m sure LinkedIn will offer this feature themselves someday, but until then this is the single best way to get updated on important profile changes across your LinkedIn connections. See below for a typical example email.
Wired Magazine – this is still my favorite magazine, and I’ve been reading it cover to cover every month for 20 years. And it’s a great iPad app as well.
Jason HirshHorn’s MediaReDEFined – The former MySpace co-CEO might be the world’s best content curator, at least for the things I’m tracking. I look forward to his daily email, and I’d read every story if I had the time.
Percolate – full disclosure that this is one of our portfolio companies. They have a tool that uniquely helps brands create content at social scale, but it’s also a tool that individuals can use via their Daily Brew service. I find Percolate has a great combination of news you need to know plus discovery of things you didn’t know.
TechCrunch, PandoDaily, BusinessInsider – these are all important news sources that I still read. But they’re increasingly part of the news that finds its way to me more than I’m going to their sites. Then there are the vertical sites like AdExchanger and Adage and great daily blogs like Seth Godin and Fred Wilson that are important enough that I subscribe to them in email format.
The net of it is that social is changing my news habits drastically – I’m much less likely to go to web sites without something or someone sending me there first, and I rarely deal with RSS. The news is increasingly coming to me, and it’s increasingly personal and curated.