feed reader

Make sure to check out my previous posts on iPad features and network connections with a Wi-Fi iPad.

I use my iPad for content consumption. I create an occasional email and have been playing around with dictation. But for the most part, I’m using it to get, not create, information.

That might be because I’m a  news junkie. Not only does it keep me up to date, but I can share interesting items with clients and friends.  Obviously, my favorites start with news:

My favorite iPad Apps.

iPad ApplicationsBloomberg – it’s like having an mini Bloomberg Terminal at your fingertips (not really, but at least I feel like a wizard of finance…). Great layout, and good information.

Wall Street Journal – A good app that’s gotten better with a recent upgrade. Timely news and events in a very useful layout. (requires a subscription)

Kindle – Amazon’s e-reader is great on the iPad. Solid, stable and very easy to use.  I wish all my books were e-books.

Weather Channel – OK, I’m a weather junkie too. This app is very well thought out and organized. Response times are super quick. Better experience than on weather.com!

NewsRack – Like I said, I love my news. I tried several RSS/newsreaders that would integrate with my Google Reader account, and this was the best by far. Still not caught up with my feeds, but I’m getting there.

Instapaper – hit and run consumption makes this app a must. I can send items from by news reader over to Instapaper to read later on the iPad, my Android Phone, or on my laptop.

ReadItLater – I’ve just discovered this app that functions similarly to Instapaper. I’ll be running them alongside each other and let you know which one wins.

Flipboard – this app or something like it will be a game changer. It takes my Twitter and Facebook feeds and morphs them into a magazine format. Really changes the experience. When I have a couple of minutes to catch up with my social networks, this app is my first choice.

Yes, Virginia, I still use and like email. The iPad Exchange setup is great – allows me browse and clean up my inbox with very little effort. The plain POP accounts don’t let me (or I can’t figure out how to) delete emails immediately. It holds them for several days. Not very good for inbox management.

This list is getting pretty long – check out my next post on work essential apps and some ones that are fun to play with.

What do you like?

What’s your favorite iPad app? Leave a comment and let me know.

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Is Twitter Becoming Less Useful?

by Dave on April 20, 2010

Is microblogging dead? I don’t think so, but I believe it’s becoming less valuable. You may say usefulness is in the eye of the beholder (user), but I’m having trouble getting the same value out of Twitter recently. In fact, today I started using my feed reader again to keep up with some of my favorite topics.

A little history

Throughout my consulting career, I’ve recognized that “staying smart” is essential to my success. Whether its news, the latest in technology or marketing strategy, my goal is to minimize my time and maximize my value.

I had a usual progression in online participation. I found a few blogs I liked, I kept them bookmarked, and visited them periodically. By the time I started blogging myself, the list of bookmarks had grown unmanageable. I set up and started using feed readers. At first it was Bloglines, then Google Reader (My Shared Items). It was easy – I kept subscribing to feeds until, of course, Google Reader became overwhelming and unmanageable – and I eventually couldn’t keep up. Then I discovered the utility of Twitter.

Social Media to the rescue.

I had been on Twitter for a while, and was following a small number of connections. I realized it was an information sourcing goldmine. I could follow news outlets and a handful of people who were paying attention to my favorite topics, and by scanning their Twitter streams, I could stay up to date. I had become a social networking lamprey. I’ll admit it, I’ve never been much of a microblogging conversationalist – I find the 140 characters too challenging to hold anything other than the simplest of conversations. So my use of twitter is primarily as an information sharing and gathering tool.

For a while it worked well. Just about the time my stream became too crowded, desktop and online readers became popular, allowing me to segment out my news and “smart people” streams and focus my attention on my high value targets. I continued to siphon information out of the Twitter stream.

But it stopped working

Today I fired my Google Reader back up, cleaned out old feeds and added a selected group of new feeds. What happened? I found that while there was still useful information in Twitter the value/time ratio was declining. I couldn’t always keep up with the stream, and when I did, it seemed the links weren’t as plentiful or as valuable. I’ll still use HootSuite (my favorite) for tracking streams and to watch people and companies of interest. But as for the “smart people” watching, I’m back to using my Google Reader to see what they have to say – long form.

I think there are two reasons Twitter is becoming less useful 1) The stream has become crowded and it’s harder and harder to find the buried “gems” and 2) I think people are sharing less or are sharing less of the gems, probably due in part to #1.

Are you finding your Twitter experience less valuable? Leave a comment and let me know.

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