Alright. It all begins with my utter frustration reading the news. My news diet right now is some combination of being awed by interesting things on the internet, wasting enormous dollops of time on Facebook, being the bookmarking queen of the world but never reading anything I bookmark, adoring print magazines, being unable to afford them, and generally feeling nostalgic for something I’m never going to get back. (Did I ever even have it?)
Mainly, I really dislike the feeling of not knowing enough. And to be honest, I think a lot of young people feel that way. To the point that many of my friends just don’t care about the news, and are happy with some combination of Facebook, Gawker and Jon Stewart. Everything else is sort of on an if-it’s-important-enough-it’ll-find-its-way-to-my-newsfeed-on-Facebook status.
I have an over-penchance for organization. Sometimes I want to organize the entire internet and have it neatly tabbed out at my fingertips on a web browser and read all the news every day. Instead, I read the Atlantic Wire’s media diet series more than the real news and I wish I could have the discipline or interest that half its contributors do.
So, on this Friday, September 21, I’m starting a blog in order to give myself a break on the lamenting, record how I construct a media diet that’s just right for me, and generally do something consistently, because step 1 of reading well and daily is to engage in the act of “daily,” and thus far, in my great 22 years of life, daily is far from what I do.
People have asked me before what I read, and where to get the news. And honestly, I have no idea what to tell them. I would generally say, hey set up a google reader account, add in the sources you like, sync it with Feedly, and bam, you have a pretty, daily feed. But I hate my feedly account. There are way too many sources in it, and I’ve recently realized that reading things on a feed like that makes me very ignorant about the publications who are producing the work. I don’t know what their websites look and feel like, and I don’t know their publishing schedules and I don’t know their writers on a first name basis. And it’s just…unfair to them, in a way. I want to have a relationship with the publications I’m reading. I think these things are important.
So what I’m starting with now is good ole google bookmarks. My homepage on Chrome opens to my bookmarks manager, which has folders for “news,” “blogs,” “media,” and “fun things to read.” Each folder holds links to the important biggies. You know, like the Times and the Post and about 8 more for news. Bloggers I like. Media sites I like. etc. etc. etc. (Give me a week or two with this system and I’ll actually divulge what sources I’m checking on the daily.)
My feedly is still holy mess of every other site I’ve liked ever and I’ll keep it that way for the Thursday afternoons when I’m procrastinating and ready to foray into the abyss of links for a few hours. But only then.
And finally, I really really like print magazines. So I’m allowing myself to buy 1 or 2 a week, at a newstand, so I don’t have to subscribe. And I will savor those one or two a week. This sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, and you probably already do it. But it’s a revelation for me, and a delicacy.
Oh and one day, I’ll organize my Twitter account into better lists, and maybe even downsize the people I follow on Tumblr. Because those are becoming painful to look at too. But not today.
Let the journey begin.
FJP: We’re hoping when she comes up for air she’ll teach us a thing or two.
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