How do people deal with the torrent of information that pours down on us all? Do they have some secret? Perhaps. We are asking various people who seem well-informed to describe their media diets. This is condensed from a conversation and follow-up with Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch writer, about her media consumption habits.
In the morning, I start off by heading to Twitter (@alexia)--where I'm connected to what's happening to other people and have two lists that are my primary sources for news. The first list includes the entire TechCrunch edit team and the other contains everybody else (the full lists are below). I follow 700+ people on Twitter, and if I end up unfollowing someone there's a pang of guilt, like a way less severe version of a real life break up.
Since they know who I like, my Twitter followers also point me to stories all the time. We were the first to publish an item about Charlie Sheen joining Twitter because a reader tipped me. Take a look at my Twitter stream, it's filled with me asking people to email me about posts. Most of them do.
On my browser, I've got bookmarked TechCrunch, Techmeme, Hacker News, Reddit Tech, Twitter search, and Technology Business Wire. I read every single one of the top 30 tech blogs on the Techmeme Leaderboard to know what other people are doing that day [Full disclosure: Tsotsis dates Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera]. On the Leaderboard, the news outlets I visit for breaking tech news are TechCrunch, Silicon Alley Insider, Engadget, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fortune and MediaMemo. The Techmeme leaders I associate more with analysis are CNET News, Ars Technica, GigaOM, VentureBeat, Search Engine Land and ReadWriteWeb. I could not live without Techmeme or TechCrunch, everything else is like condiments to the meal.
I missed the whole RSS thing but do have a Google Reader account--it's stacked with fashion and art blogs and nothing related to tech and I never visit it. I overloaded my Google Reader initially and now there's too much noise for me to handle. I'm sure I could fix the problem by deleting some sources, but don't have the time. I much prefer human curation rather than the stream of a Google Reader. With Reddit, I haven't gotten deep enough into it to make it news yet. And here's what news I get from Facebook--news about Facebook.
Publications in print are just for when I have extra time. I think of print as a luxury, I've bought Vogue for a break after reading fragmented bits on Twitter, and if I had the time I would like to pick up The New Yorker regularly, also The Economist. If I saw one, I'd grab a New York Times or Wall Street Journal to read. Mainly, I read/write a lot during the day, so most nights it gets to the point where I've consumed way too much text input to make any more useful. But at night I'm probably reading Gawker, Man Repeller or The Awl--or a book.