There are plenty of people who consume my weekly media diet before breakfast on Monday. Whether my consumption level is good or bad and what the consumption of news media is good for anyway will be addressed in a future post. This post is dedicated to describing what my current consumption is.
What is is an awful lot and some of it is awfully expensive. I would be toast without a plan. On the iPad, you can make a web shortcut show up as a button right next to your applications.* This allows you to order your buttons in a way that organizes your consumption. Mine start with what I consume multiple times a day, through my once a days, and into my occassionals.
Central to my plan is Twitter feed into Flipboard, both free (click on the screenshot above to see). Where do you get your news? Local newspapers, local TV stations, industry specific news? Set up a twitter account and link in their feeds. Here is what I follow, if you're interested. Flipboard will also allow you to add some other "channels" (up to 18 total) including some pre-selected multi-streams such as "Lifestyle" that pulls from Apartment Therapy, Whole Living, bon Appetit and others. You can also pull in your Facebook and Flickr feeds, and others. Click on an article beginning and it takes you to the entire article in Flipboard. Swipe up and you go to the webpage. If desired, go over to the web browser to look at that page further. And then go back Flipboard and it has saved your space. For serious Twitter maniacs I have to note that it can be about an hour behind on your Twitter feed.
One of the problems with Twitter, Flipboard and the rest are lack of context. So I also have buttons for a local TV station website and the two local newspapers. (Remember, you cannot get Kindle newspapers on the iPad.) International newspapers such as the New Zealand Herald and the FP News (Canada) have free apps and can provide some perspective.
Context is the one thing you can buy. Context has value. How much value in dollars, I am not certain. I currently subscribe to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal on the iPad. Some other options that I think would present similar value are The Economist and the Financial Times.
There are a few other apps I have found which give you some daily "stuff" (all free):
- Discover is an app that provides a visually attractive front-end to Wikipedia. Every day it posts the random Wikipedia entry of the day.
- MyCongress provides the recent news references, YouTube postings and Twitter feed of the congress people you select (it helps you find yours using your zip code).
- Life provides the top photos of the week. (There is a different paid app for the magazine).
For philosophy and work there are (all free):
- Artsandlettersdaily.com, web link. The feed just doesn't have the same effect.
- AMA News, web link
- Science Daily, web link
- NEJM App (weekly postings for free)
- Medscape (news and drug database)
For blogs I follow, I have gone with Pulse News, a free app which does much of what Flipboard does only differently. Flipboard does it better, except for blogs. Both pull in your selected blogs from your Google Reader account. Flipboard then shows the posts in time order. In contrast, Pulse keeps each blog in context on it's own row and allows 60 different blogs to be listed, 12 per page on five pages (compared to Flipboard's 18 channels). Here's a screenshot:
Just like with Flipboard, you can click on an item to open a full view or go to the original webpage, or go out to Safari to view the webpage.
The final part of my media plan is Evernote, used for two purposes. First is as a media trail. If I don't save what I read, I will never ever find it again. Anything that captures my attention goes into Evernote. First, I go to the original article (in Flipboard this requires going into the article and then swiping up or clicking on the go to article link, or sometimes copying the link to Safari). If there is a printable version, I select that. Then I copy the article. This is usually done by touching the blank space at the top of the page, but sometimes you have to select the text you want to copy. Touch "copy". Then email the article to Evernote, and paste the copy into it.
The second use for Evernote is read-it-later. I could have all those articles go to different places (you just add the pound sign and the name of the folder to the email title), but I send them all into one inbox and sort them out later. I keep a folder for articles that I would like to read when I have time to concentrate. Instapaper is another way to do that and may even be better, I just haven't gotten into it.
I use the above two items for anything I read on paper also, using my scanner to put the articles into Evernote.
And that's my media consumption plan. What is yours? What are your tips?
*In Safari, click on the arrow to the left of the web address and select "add to home screen".