My week in media

A meme started doing the rounds among some mainstream media types last August on what some people do and read online.

I hadn’t seen it until a post by Drew Benvie included me among those he tagged.

So in the spirit of shared thinking and satisfying anyone’s curiosity, here’s a shortlist of my (typical) week in media.

What I’ve Read

All my media reading – and I define ‘media’ in this context as anything that has an RSS feed – revolves around RSS.

I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds, currently around 850, covering as broad a mixture of sources and content as you can imagine.

Of course, I don’t read every single one every single day; that’s just impossible. And some of those feeds relate to searches and watches I set up for client work. Others are things I’ve discovered and want to pay attention to for a while.

Generally, at the start of each day I will quickly (and I do mean quickly) scan the headlines of the RSS feeds in a half-dozen or so of the primary channels I set up in FeedDemon to get a sense of what’s going on in my overall areas of interest.

If a headline grabs my attention, I’ll either read the feed, mark it for later attention, or add it to the shared folder which publishes the content publicly at NewsGator Online for anyone else to subscribe to (that’s what my link blog is).

But there is some core content I do read every day, starting with two feeds that aggregate the content from multiple sources – Headlines from PR Weblogs and the Public Relations Network. There’s some duplication there and I scan headlines to spot content of interest.

Next, feeds from BBC News, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph just to get the balance from mainstream media ostensibly in different parts of the UK political spectrum.

Then comes Twitter, Jaiku, Techmeme, the Financial Times, Micro Persuasion, TechCrunch and BrandRepublic plus a sprinkling of other places that tend to vary day by day.

Blognation was in my daily must-read list before the implosion of that network. But, thanks to some terrific work by Rob Safuto, I’m now getting all the content from the writers in a single RSS feed Rob created (using Yahoo Pipes, I might add).

Oh, and not to forget – the BBC weather forecast for my area. An essential start-the-day RSS read!

What I’ve Watched

I’m sure the original creators of this meme meant this topic title to refer to television.

Yet I don’t really watch much TV, certainly not in the traditional sense, ie, sitting down in front of a big box in the living room or somewhere and passively consuming whatever’s on the screen.

About the only things I do in that mode are to watch TV news (usually BBC News 24), my favourite TV show CSI Miami (even all the re-runs), or watch a DVD movie, typically one that comes via the Amazon DVD rental service (two a month).

I don’t subscribe to any satellite or cable TV service (what’s the point?), relying happily on what comes with Freeview.

I hardly sit in front of the TV to watch anything as it’s broadcast (apart from news): I make the most of the wonders of a PVR so I can watch anything I like when I like which invariably isn’t on the day or at the time the programme is being broadcast.

What I do watch (and create as well) is video online, especially seesmic and Qik, two startup video services I’m testing (aka having a lot of fun with).

I’ll occasionally load up Joost on the PC especially when they have new content.

What I’ve Listened To

As you may know, I’m a podcaster. Yet I don’t listen to that many podcasts on a daily basis.

I like live radio. Unlike the US, for instance, I think we have terrific radio content in the UK.

I start each day with Radio 5 Live, which more often than not plays in the background during the day via a neat desktop widget on my Vista PC.

At times I’ll tune in the real radio to catch Magic FM as they’re running a compelling contest which no one has managed to win yet. The prize is now up to £87,700. I haven’t entered as I have absolutely no idea at all as to who the mystery voices are.

I do listen to podcasts, though! At any one time, I have at least 20 shows lined up on my PC. Rarely time to listen.

Still, this past week I have listened to Trafcom News, SPOS, Accident Hash, The Economist, The Engaging Brand, The Rock Show and Geek News Central. Oh, and my own show, FIR.

About 75% of my listening is on the computer. If I’m out and about, it’s either the car radio or iPod plugged in to a frequency. If I’m on public transport (a rare occurrence apart from aircraft), I’ll listen on my Nokia N95 8GB, either it’s built-in radio or saved podcasts.

Actually, now that I think about it, I have more podcasts and music on the phone than on the iPod.

What I’ve Surfed

Now there’s a quaint expression – ‘surfing the web’!

I don’t do that any more.

Or if scanning RSS feeds is the new surfing, then I do plenty of that (see ‘What I’ve Read’). Or maybe time spent on Twitter and Jaiku. Maybe that redefines the definition.

So, that’s a snapshot view of my (typical) week in media.

I wonder who else might want to share their online habits.

Let’s ask Grant Currie, David Tebbutt, Mike Denton, David Brain, Robin Crumby and Bernie Goldbach.

What say you?

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Armin

    Does that BBC weather feed work reliably for you? Mine only seems to refresh very irregularly and whenever it feels like it.

    Instead I’ve installed the Met Office plugin, which seems to work quite reliably and I can check the weather with one mouse click whenever I want.

  2. neville

    Seems to work fine, Armin, haven’t noticed any problems with it. Every morning there’s an updated forecast and then more during the day.

    I also have the forecast in my sidebar, the one from AccuWeather. Don’t like the Met Office one, no local station, just Heathrow or Farnborough, not close enough.

  3. neville

    Good question and I ought to have included this in my post – I subscribe to The Economist print edition and I usually pick up the Telegraph on a Saturday.

    Both are weekend reading so I guess my mind was focused on the work week when I wrote the post.

    Also when I’m travelling, I tend to pick up mags and papers at airports.

    But other than that, everyone is online reading.

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