November 06, 2008

My 9 a.m. Morning News Trumps Your Evening News

I am an information glutton. I want to know all the news, and get it as it happens, preferably before everyone else. By the time it's discussed in the afternoon, I want to already have seen it, dissected it and reacted to it. It's this demand for a real-time news firehose that has me turning to Twitter for real-time events instead of Google News, and what has had me looking to Google Reader and FriendFeed before mainstream news sites or Web portals for just about everything else.

Google Reader Tells Me 9 a.m. is the Primetime News Hour

As Google Reader's Trends statistics show, I read every single item that flows through my RSS reader, even if it's just for a second. But the time you're most likely to catch me, unblinking, in front of my RSS reader is around 9 each morning. The statistics show I'm parked on Google Reader most often at 9 a.m. with other spikes around 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., and on those days when I start earlier, 8 a.m.

Assuming a typical workday, I have probably taken in between 800 and 1,000 new items from RSS before the evening news comes on. By the time the news networks have selected what they'll focus on for 30 minutes, with each story getting maybe a minute's worth of attention, interrupted by commercials, I've likely seen the news break and get spun by multiple people whose opinions I trust. By 11 p.m., when the late night news comes on, I've more than moved on. And you can forget about waiting around for the next morning's paper.

By the time your papers are hitting the driveways of people across the country, much of the news is 24 hours old. That's why you've seen a rise of 24-hour news networks, headline news, and new ways to get the news shoveled ever quicker. I may not be a morning person, and the twins certainly aren't helping there... but I know to get the news early. Google Reader and other tools enable you to pick who your information filters are, and when you want to get your news. Don't wait for the networks or the paper to choose when you should get it. Just go get it already.