My Daily Reading List

I read a lot these days, more than I ever have in my entire life. Almost all non-fiction. Very few books lately, almost all blogs and web news by industry. In addition to the 4,500+ emails I consume, I flip through nearly 8,000 articles every month across 57 subscriptions (with probably a 15% engagement rate).

Many people have asked me what I read, so I’ve decided to share key items on my list. This batch is ever-changing – I am very open to suggestions or criticism. I subscribe to all the following through Google Reader:

Web Tech News
Techmeme
TechCrunch
Mashable
Engadget
Google’s Blog
Gmail’s Blog
YouTub’s Blog
Venture Hacks

Film
/Film
The Playlist
Mondo: The Blog

Entrepreneur & Venture Capitalist Blogs
AVC – Fred Wilson’s Blog
Continuations – Albert Wenger’s Blog
Both Sides of the Table – Mark Suster’s Blog
Only Once – Matt Blumberg Blog
Seth Godin’s Blog
Experiments In Lifestyle Design – Tim Ferriss’s Blog
Reinventing BusinessBruce Eckel‘s Blog
Vinicius Vacanti’s Blog
TechStars
Feld Thoughts – Brad Feld’s Blog
Mendelson’s Musings – Jason Mendelson’s Blog
McInBlog – Ryan McIntyre’s Blog
Seth Levine’s Blog
Peter Levine’s Blog
Jeff Jordan’s Blog
Scott Weiss’s Blog
Ben Horowitz’s Blog
Marc Andreessen’s Blog
John O’Farrell’s Blog
David G. Cohen’s Blog
Ask the VC
Foundry Group

Architecture
Desire to Inspire
A Daily Dose of Architecture
The Architecture Blog – Architecture pictures!
Inhabitat – Green technology, design and architecture

Comedy
Cracked
#Hollywoodassistants
Presidential Pickup Lines
Bonkers World
Texts From Bennett

Other
Zelda Universe – Legend of Zelda news
The Shirnal – Shirl’s travel log
The Domino Project – The future of publishing
Dr. Greer’s Blog – Extraterrestrial disclosure
Optimal Fitness Hub – Health hacks
Insights from the Corner Cubicle – Garrett Dallas’s Blog
Quantified Self – Life tracking
Information Is Beautiful – Infographics
Brain Rules – Neuroscience and life application

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Early Bird Gets the Attention

If you are first in line, there will be more water in the pool to make a bigger splash. If you hit the market first, it will be much easier to make some noise. Get in people’s queues first, and you will be read before the next guy. I have seen a direct correlation to the number of people who read my blog per day and the time of day I post – the earlier, the better. The early bird gets the worm. Or in this case, the attention.

There is a flip side to being first: a responsibility to quality. While you may secure for yourself a smash hit opening weekend by launching first, sustaining that hit overtime is a completely different story. In journalism, it’s always a race to publish first. But if the accuracy of an article doesn’t check out, the premature launch could adversely effect the organization’s credibility. To build a sustainable hit, you must keep quality high and consistently beat everyone else to the punch.

While my blog has little at stake to post “first,” I doubt I could have earned your readership if I published daily nonsensical poop jokes. Without question, quality counts in the long term. But if all you want is attention and immediate gratification, you better cross the finish line in first place.

Can Newspapers Survive? Bring on Newsographics!

It is official: more people consume news online than from newspapers.  Print is failing to compete with the saturated blogosphere. While the value of digital media is evolving, the blog network is still disorganized and fragmented.  The need for staffed, credible and organized newsrooms has never been higher.

Print outlets have not sufficiently adapted to the Internet.  It should not be as simple as porting text to a webpage – your platform (the computer monitor, mobile device, etc.) is completely different than newsprint. Few people enjoy reading on their monitors, want to load full paragraphs of text on mobile, or feel sufficiently engaged by content on the ever-interactive tablet form factor. The format of digital news presentation needs to be completely re-imagined.

USA Today became popular because it had a higher volume of images than other newspapers. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, it lacks quantitative and qualitative information essential to quality news reporting. Incorporate graphical representations of story information and a healthy dose of interactivity into images and you could have something really special.  I call it the “Newsographic.”

I have been very impressed with the New York Times coverage of Japan’s tragedy. On top of diligent email updates and consistent reporting, they continue to introduce extremely informative interactive features and multimedia presentations that paint a more vivid picture of the event.  You can find some of their newsographics below:

Data visualization hit the Internet mainstream with a vengeance. Unlike text blocks, infographics are more inviting, quicker to consume, and can help make complex information easier to interpret. Bringing imagery to life with a layer of interactivity enhances the reader’s engagement with the material tenfold. Top a visualization off with live updating power and you have yourself a very powerful news medium. 

Newsographics are the future. Unlike most individual blog authors, larger news organizations have the talent and resources available to generate these presentations.  I am convinced rich multimedia will be the only way major outlets can stay competitive in this arena. The tablet is a perfect opportunity for newsographic-only sources to stake major claim in the news market. I still think major news companies have a place in the media landscape – but they cannot rely on the written word alone. They must evolve.