Keeping up with Philly news — my experiment

Keeping up with Philly news — my experiment

Today marks an important day in my transition to Philly. My subscription to The Philadelphia Inquirer began. Yes, a printed newspaper arriving every morning at my doorstep is now part of my media mix.

For the past few months (even as I was still in talks to come to Philly as CEO of PPIIN), I undertook an experiment to test different ways of keeping up with Philly news. At first I wanted to try primarily digital methods.

At first, I began bookmarking the sites of various news media around town and trying to set aside time to explore each site. But too often I found myself without enough time to explore them fully each day while working at my laptop.

My second approach was to collect the RSS feeds of these sites and put them into Pulse, a slick RSS reader application on my iPad. With Pulse, I could skim through headlines and snippets from many sources easily, calling up those that caught my attention to read. But that still seemed less than ideal to me.

Next, I began a Twitter-based approach. I began identifying people in Philadelphia who regularly recommend interesting news articles in their tweets. Many of them are journalists, but some are civic activists or other engaged in the community.

My main list (Philadelphia People) has about 150 people in it. At first, I also included Twitter accounts from news organizations, but I found those overwhelmed my feed and I separated them out in a separate Philadelphia Media list. Because I also wanted to get some perspective from local politicians and government organizations, I created an Official Philadelphia list.

I now pull these Twitter lists into another elegant iPad app – Flipboard. With Flipboard, I see not only the headline but often a photo and a few paragraphs of the story text. I can still touch the screen to view the full article. As those who follow @neilbudde on Twitter can tell, I spend a lot of time at home in the evening reading and sharing the news I discover this way (I also use the Journalism category on Zite to discover industry news) and a little time each morning.

This approach has been working well, bringing to my attention a wide range of articles as well as comments tweeted by people. It also highlights events that might be of interest.

I also subscribed to the Inquirer’s iPad app, but I seldom found myself opening it up and downloading a daily edition. When I did, I generally found that my Twitter lists had called attention to all of the major daily news and only a few new items were there. But I still felt as if I needed a printed paper to help ensure that I was seeing all of the news, so I have subscribed to the Inquirer. I’ll let you know how that is working in a future update.

How do you get your Philly news? I hope you’ll share in the comments below your approach to keeping up with local news.

Are you on my Twitter lists? If not, follow me and I’ll add you.

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