You know, used to buy the Times every day. Then I used to go to the Website every day. Now, I just click through the stories at Bloglines. There is a post here somewhere about my changed news consumption habits, and believe me, they have changed dramatically due to RSS and Bloglines. Not sure whether it’s a good change or not…
Anyway, the Times has new feeds (Yay!) but it’s lost some old feeds, particularly the education feed (Boo!) Add “Most E-mailed,” “Times on the Trail” and “Circuits” to my account…
I think you make an excellent point, Will, about changing patterns of news consumption. I, too, have a variety of news readers/aggregators (like Bloglines and Central) but I miss the serendipity of browsing a “physical Web site.” I know that doesn’t make sense, but for me, I’ll probably never subscribe to the fashion feed from the Times, but when I’m surfing the site, on occasion I come across some pretty interesting stuff. In the classroom, I always felt it was nice to feel like even though some of my current events knowledge was a bit stodgy (from the TImes, etc.) I still knew what was up with Justin Timberlake – just to know what my students were talking about:). But now, I’d never want to have a feed on Britney or Justin, but I still like surfing. In fact, for me the happenstance interface that IS the Internet (I go someplace intentionally, find a link, go somewhere else and am then lead to something entirely new) is something I don’t want to lose and miss when I’ll I do is read from my RSS feeds.
I am leaning more toward Will’s approach on this. I know that it is cliche’ but even with aggregates and feeds, I relate to ‘a fly trying to take a drink from the firehose’ at times. Still, at early morning coffee, you can catch me with a magazine style newsprint paper chasing down the kinds of things that Steve refers to in his comments.
Will R. says
No doubt I was more up on the news in general when I was turning the pages of the paper copy of the Times every day. I don’t dig into the Website nearly as much. But I’m more deeply attuned to the topics that do interest me and that I subscribe to in my aggregator. Not sure which is better, but I have a feeling the former method was probably more beneficial in general…
It’s hard to say which is better – the virtual news or the hardcopy. I think that leads to an even more complicated point that maybe Will’s journalism background can help flesh out. That is, what is the future for things like blogs (and news aggregators) if all they do is replicate the hard-copy world. I think we’re still awaiting a bit of a pardigm shift. For instance, RSS offers the <enclosure> tag which enables large files (audio and video) to be aggregated but hardly anyone uses them. In the end, I’m left thinking about the analogy of blogs-as-digital paper and wonder what’s the best analogy for RSS feed?