Social Media, A News Diet

A diet is a specific plan or routine for consumption. The typical downfall of any diet is that it is incomplete; somehow lacking in one or several subtle components. However, in the effort of consuming news, haphazardly jumping into the amorphous and gargantuan news cycle with no rhyme or reason for tackling the beast is a terrible strategy.

Social media, particularly Twitter and customizable aggregate sites offer a unique digital infrastructure for developing a well-rounded news diet with high value… eventually.

The Twitter Deck and Feedly account that I conjured last week is nothing short of revolutionary and impressive to me. I love the fact that I can use Twitter Deck to neatly compartmentalize the various categories of news sites and journalistic professionals. I find that it is just physically easier to scan over news items and very quickly generate a rudimentary idea of whats going on in the country and around the world.

Thanks to one category being dedicated to NBC CNN FOX’s twitter feeds I can stay up-to-date by mere minutes on breaking news wherever I am (provided my Iphone’s battery lives longer than your average fruit fly). By the way thank you FOX Twitter feed; for posting something new every couple of minutes… Also for posting at least two posts every five seconds every day around 4:45 to 5:00, the constant phone updates reminding me that I really should turn the sorry device to silent is much appreciated.

The Feedly account’s RSS feeds are less bite sized than twitter but I find it offers more variety and substance. Technology web articles (my topic of choice) are easier to track through Feedly. The most interesting tech articles too often pop up in a collection of slightly more ambiguous news sites, with names that sound like they were picked from a grab-bag of 90’s movies references (I’m looking at you Gizmodo).

The disclaimer for these wonderful innovations is that they are vastly incomplete in terms of their consumption value. In other words the news diet I developed is not yet particularly fulfilling in all aspects of nutrition. Twitter and Feedly news diets appear only to improve over time, as more good sources of news are followed or the network of irreplaceable journalistic professionals grows. Also over time bad sources of news are ruled out and the overall value of the diet improves through the process of trial and error.

In short, creating a news diet out of social media is going well. I’m still not sure how I’ll ever get used to posting multiple tweets over an hour.

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