The importance of boosting your information network has been discussed in previous posts. We received many comments from people discussing how they consume information on the web. It’s interesting to hear the methods and tools individuals use to consume more and spend less (time).
The 3 main tools I use:
1) Netvibes is a personalized start page. It’s similar to PageFlakes, Google Reader, etc., but what really sets this service apart is how news sources are neatly organized into tabs. I am not a fan of having all of my news meshed together (when I’m reading TechCrunch, I like to read everything in chronological order then move on to the next blog). Netvibes is a place I go to consume personally relevant news when I have some free time or need a break from other work.
2) Tweetdeck is a Twitter application that interfaces with the Twitter API. Tweetdeck is an “always on” application on my PC. I dedicate my third computer screen to it (nerd alert). Twitter serves multiple purposes, but one I have used frequently is its ability to follow real-time breaking news. Last week’s MLB trading deadline is a great example. For baseball nuts like me, the trading deadline is one of the most exciting few hours in sports (don’t laugh). It’s when teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates sell off any player with any talent whatsoever while teams like the Boston Red Sox make a last minute deal to strengthen the team for a World Series run. I conducted an experiment last week – I followed the last two hours of the trading deadline on ESPN.com, MLB TV, and Twitter. The result? I discovered every last minute trade almost 30 minutes before the stories were confirmed on ESPN or MLB TV. You get insider and breaking news faster on Twitter than with any other news outlet.
3) iPod Touch is currently my technology of choice while on the go. In addition to gaining access to Netvibes (through the browser) and Tweetdeck (free app), I feel that the Touch has the highest level of entertainment value relative to other portable devices or “Tween Screens” as Alan coins it in a previous post. I will admit, the Netvibes experience through the Safari browser is not great, so I usually spend time catching up on WSJ and NYT articles. Has anyone found a great RSS Reader for the iPhone?
The e-Reader installed base is projected to climb from 1M users in 2008 to 32M in 2014 so the idea of having a portable device used primarily for consuption of information is hardly a fad. BTW, If the rumors are true, you will see me in the front of the line to buy the new Apple eReader/Netbook. Until then, the Touch will suffice.