Skip to content

Reading news

Reading news is fun, inspires and gets me excited. I get a lot of energy from learning. However, there is a downside to reading news. With information becoming very cheap to produce, it becomes harder to manage my attention, see the Impact of reading news.

News

For me, news is information about events that happened in topics I care about. My criteria for good news are:

  • On topic (mostly tech stuff)
  • Well researched, based on facts with sources

What "kind" of news I don't like basically describes the "mainstream" news that focus on being clickbait, based on emotions, suspense or urgency.

Sources

To get the news I like to read, I need to be careful about what sources I select.

  • Weekly newsletters
    Newsletters aggreate news about specific topics on a weekly basis. This reduces my daily attention and acts as a pre-filter. However using email as a medium for news doesn't work for me, which is why I integrate them into my news feed via RSS.
    Examples are:
    • Weekly SRE: What's happening in software development, ops, platforms and tools.
    • DB Weekly: A weekly round-up of database technology.
    • Weekly StatusCode
    • Mobile Dev Weekly
    • HackerNews weekly
  • Selected blogs
    Some blogs consistently provide high quality content.
  • Selected YouTube Channels
    Being unhappy with the recommendations on YouTube, I selected some channels that I find interesting and added them to the news feed.
  • Personal GitHub Feed
    A RSS feed of changes to Github repositories or by users I follow. https://github.com/[user].private.atom?token=[token]
  • Read later
    Currently I use Instapaper to save news that I like to read later. Once a week Instapaper sends a list of saved news to my Kindle. However this system doesn't work well as I hardly ever read the news on the Kindle. I need to find another solution.
  • Twitter
    This source is still "WIP". I follow many people, but many of the tweets are not relevant.

Destinations

  • Memex
    I'm Building a Memex which stores things I did. When I open news in the browser they end up in the Memex.
  • Highlights from Kindle or websites
    No good solution yet.

News Flow

Currently I use Feedly as a news aggregator. The advantage of having a central place are that the read/unread state is synchronized across devices.

For reading I use ReadKit, mostly on iOS and sometimes on macOS. It has a great "reader" feature which downloads news (e.g. blog post) and shows only relevant text and images without cookie banners and ads.

graph TD;
Newsletters-->Aggregator;
Blogs-->Aggregator;
Youtube-->Aggregator;
Github-->Aggregator;
Twitter-->Aggregator;
ReadLater-->Reader;
Aggregator-->Reader;
Reader-->Browser;
Browser-->ReadLater;
Browser-->Memex;

#published

Links to this note

These notes are unpolished collections of thoughts, unfinished ideas, and things I want to remember later. In the spirit of learning in public, I'm sharing them here. Have fun exploring, if you want!
© 2021 by Adrian Philipp