Mark Cuban professes to read three hours a day. [He points out] that one great idea he gets from a magazine he spends hours reading will pay off a thousand times over for his business. The challenge then is to limit the crap you consume and focus on what’s actually going to help you. You know, so you can actually make progress with your company. I might not spend three hours a day like Mark Cuban, but I’d say I read close to two a day.
I stand by that quote I wrote in 2008. Since writing that post about what I read, and the follow-up post in 2009, there has only been one major thing that I’ve changed about the way I consume news: I listen to Podcasts.
I listen to an array of shows, but my favorites are TWiT podcasts “This Week in Tech” and “This Week in Google”. Each are weekly, over an hour long, and jam packed with the important tech news I want to know about. The hosts, led by Leo Laporte, are some of the most intelligent, knowledgeable people in tech. Often times I feel like I’m sitting at a coffee shop listening in on their conversations. The shows feel that authentic.
Which has led me to ponder the question: do I still need to read TechCrunch? The answer I’ve come to is no. 190.6 posts per week is too much. It’s not that they don’t produce good content or interesting content, it’s that there are probably only 5-10 really important tech stories per week that I want to see. It’s not worth the effort to scan close to 200 stories to find a handful to read.
To compensate, I’ve subscribed to Wired Epicenter (15.4 posts/week) and ars technia web (8.9 posts/week) to keep some tech news in my reader, and anything else I’m sure I’ll hear about on the podcasts or through Twitter. I also trimmed down my Lifehacker reading from the full feed (125.3 posts/week) to the top stories feed (31.5 posts/week).
There’s nothing like not reading your feeds for a few days, and then opening up Google Reader to find 200+ unread Lifehacker + TechCrunch stories. It begins to feel like a chore, and that’s not the way I want it to be. Picking up my CR-48 and opening up Google Reader is one of my favorite things to do after a long day. Hopefully this will cut down the time spent reading and scanning hundreds of headlines, freeing up more time to read more of the really great long-form articles on the blogs I follow, keeping up better with the magazines I subscribe to (Inc., Fast Company, Wired), reading a few more books, and, you know, having more time to do a few other enjoyable things with my free time.