News.Me Is Amazing

I’ve only had this iPad for a few weeks now, but already it’s changing the way I consume content.  And a big part of that is an iPad application called News.Me.

I only follow around 300 people in my stream.  Because of the fast paced nature of finance, many of the people I follow are far more active than the average user, they produce a lot of great content.  Maybe the average influential user tweets 5-7 times a day (that’s just a guess), I’d say many on my stream are more towards 12-15 times a day.  I’m probably up around 18-20 times a day.

That makes it hard to follow more than around 300 people, I would be completely lost in a stream of messages emanating from not too many more than that.  My stream already flies by so quickly late mornings and early afternoons, it’s hard to consume the best of what’s being shared.

We’ve known that Twitter and StockTwits present issues of curation and filtration for a while now.  With so many amazing sources of information, and only a portion of your attention able to be devoted to the stream during the day, tools are badly needed.

I want to highlight a few of the tools that I use that allow me to slow things down a bit, and catch the really goo stuff.

Abnormal Returns: Tadas is the classic human curator of the financial web, but don’t think he’s not using some help as well.  I’d love to hear a rundown of all the tools that curate for him on a daily basis.  The pure amount of information he must be inhaling is mind blowing.  I wish Abnormal Returns had a New York Times type iPad app.

Techmeme: I still don’t quite understand the mechanics of how Techmeme works, if it’s human curated or algo or both, but it doesn’t really matter.  Simply following @Techmeme gets you the best tech links from around the web, rarely will you miss something important.  It won’t get you very niche stuff like you’ll find deep within New Scientist or Wired, but anything important enough to be passed around the web quite a bit coming from one of the big technology publications will make it there.  The Techmeme stream also finds its way into my News.Me feed.

Twitter Favorites: Mark Suster wrote a little piece yesterday on what people actually use Twitter favorites for.  The gist of it is, they aren’t using it to display the stuff they like the best, most people like myself use it as a way to bookmark things to go back and read later.  I wish there were a better tool than this that was better integrated into my whole information consumption experience, but there isn’t right now.  It’s definitely a big step up from literally bookmarking stuff in your web browser, that was only 2 years ago, wow what a leap we’ve made.  When I find an interesting article in my stream that I don’t have time to read right then, I’ll favorite it and come back later.  It would be great though if my favorites would show up in my News.Me stream.

News.Me: The most powerful new tool for the curation of my stream is News.Me, and amazing iPad app.  I still don’t quite understand the magic behind how this works as well, but I’m just going with it.  The short pitch on News.Me is that it aggregates the best links flowing through your stream.  It will also allow you to see the algorithmically curated streams of the people you follow.  So for instance, I can see what Howard Lindzon is seeing in his stream, pretty cool.

There is a huge debate taking place within the tech/media community as to what will replace the newspaper.  I have argued, at length, that the newspaper is a dead media of information transmission.  It’s not the content that is dead per se, it is the act of picking up a physical piece of paper at a specific time each day and reading through content curated by only one editorial source.  The information is static, they can only decide what to show you once a day, and by the time it gets to you it’s been several hours, at least, before those decisions were made.  In a world where information and speed are power, it doesn’t take a PHD to understand that the newspaper is done.

But we still need temporal aggregators.  I don’t want to see articles coming from every single link shared in my stream, I want to be able to crunch 12 hours down into 25 of the best links and peruse those.  This is the power of News.Me.  It is at the same time, a live updating stream of the best stuff coming from the people you follow, and and a way to slow things down and catch up on what has been shared without scrolling through your whole stream from the day.

I have a few issues with News.Me, I think it could be better.  I wish there was a setting to increase or decrease the time sensitivity as to what you see on your stream.  I also wish it was a learning machine, in the sense that it would keep track of what I actually read from what it shows me, and feed me more from those sources.  Pandora radio does a great job of this.  Smart applications like Pandora are the future.

A lot of people like Flipboard, but I find it unwieldy and don’t understand how to set it up or where it’s getting my info from.  But News.Me is dead simple, so simple in fact that maybe it needs to be a little more complicated.

The newspaper is dead, long live News.Me.

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