News Feeding

by Zoe Pollock

John Hudson interviewed Gawker Media owner Nick Denton on his news habits:

I consume most of my news in email and (more recently) Facebook. I think Zuckerberg has created the personalized news engine we always dreamed of. ...

To follow the daily or hourly news cycle is the media equivalent of day-trading: it’s frenzied, pointless and usually unprofitable. I’d much rather read an item which just showed me the photos or documents. And if you’re going to write some text, take a position or explain something to me. Give me opinion or reference; just don’t pretend you’re providing news. That’s not news.

Felix Salmon agrees on the latter part:

This is one of the reasons why personal blogs still feel so fresh and useful in the face of professional operations which update dozens of times per day. And I suspect it’s also one of the factors behind the Gawker redesign Denton knows full well that much of what appears in the Gawker Media network falls broadly under his category of “fake news”, which is why he spends his morning firing off “irritable emails about headlines, photos, lame press releases masquerading as stories”. He doesn’t want that stuff to be the first material that a visitor to one of his websites sees, and so he’s redesigned things to be able to always feature a genuinely strong story rather than what happens to be the most recent thing posted.

Both posts explore getting news via Facebook (Denton) or Twitter (Salmon) and are definitely worth a read. I think I fall in line with Salmon on this one; my Facebook feed consists of mostly pictures and personal conversations, less often of the news-news sort. I think it's interesting neither of them mention RSS feeds, something I definitely rely on.