So how does noted Internet thinker Clay Shirky keep his brain filled to the brim with fresh, interesting information?
In the morning, I basically check two things. The obvious one is Twitter. I use Tweet Deck for friends, commentators and media outlets. The people I followed after seeing their tweets were @mike_FTW, Paul Kedrosky, Joe Solomon and Newt Gingrich.
After I scan Twitter I check Netvibes, a module-based RSS reader. It’s a lovely piece of software. My main source for world news is Al Jazeera. The rest of the RSS stuff is all feeds from opinionated aggregators. I look for relevant research, interesting themes and funny stories on sites like 3quarksdaily, Crooked Timber, Boing Boing and Slashdot. On Twitter and Netvibes, if I see something I want to read, I just open up a string of tabs. Usually between one and two dozen depending on what I see.
Shirky really doesn’t follow many single-author blogs.
For print media, we subscribe to the New York Times (though I generally only read the Times on the weekend), The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Neither of those really cover breaking news so I pile them up and save them for plane rides.
So what does he say about breaking news, the bread and butter of the online news world?
In general, there’s no real breaking news that matters to me. I don’t have any alerts or notifications on any piece of software I use. My phone is on silent ring, nothing alerts me when I get a Tweet and my e-mail doesn’t tell me when messages arrive.
However, Shirky is also starting to forsake the NYT’s op-ed page because he feels it’s become too pegged to the news.
I would say that Shirky is also smarter than 99.5 per cent of the population, so keeping guys like him happy isn’t what’s going to keep the commercial news media in business. :)
There are plenty of other smart people who submitted to the same interview process. The links are at the bottom of the Shirky piece.