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Google Reader

Time for some housekeeping. First of all, Google Reader feeds:

T-Rex is Lonely – spinoff of Dinosaur Comics and Garfield Minus Garfield
Calvin & Hobbes – Bill Waterson’s genius, delivered daily 🙂
Soul Shelter – Great blog about connecting with others in the modern, technological world. Required reading: In Defense of Solitude (Part 1, Part 2)

The most significant changes have not been in new feeds, but rather in a trimming of my high volume feeds. This has freed up an insane amount of time, which I’ve put towards real reading (7 books in the past 6 weeks).

First Read – Super good for inside politics, but since the elections, I don’t feel there’s quite as much to do. We worked to hire the legislators, now it’s their turn to do their job.
Five Thirty Eight – amazing analysis by Nate Silver, but it’s become too dense for interest without the horserace.

GOOD transparency – despite the excellent infographs, I wasn’t reading this as much as I should have.
Yahoo! News Top Stories – too much noise and time, even without reading them. The world goes on without breaking news.
LifeHacker – LifeHacker was insanely interesting, and I read nearly everything, but I feel I’ve got my productivity system down now.

The Master Subscription List has been updated.

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New Feeds

The regular feed update – this one is fairly substantial with new blogs from all over the place.

Astronomy Picture of the Day – excellent images from NASA that truly inspire discovery

Humor
Apokalips – I like this comic. It is fairly new to the scene.
Overcompensating – This is a great webcomic, fairly classic, not-so-classy. I was absolutely hooked with Awkward People Island.
Thinkin Lincoln – not sure why this wasn’t on my list yet – the comic is enshrined on our Internet Wall (along with xkcd and dinosaur comics). Quality has gone down lately (since the Bermuda Triangle arc), but the author just switched to a weekly format, so that should help. After all, Space Trips are only A Question of Science in the Two-Party System 🙂 [bonus win]

Politics
Paul Krugman Blog – one of the most influential economists of our times. His daily political musings are interesting and often turn me to other cool resources.
Paul Krugman – his New York Times opeds

Tech
Wired Top News – Fills the void in tech reporting that Ars Technica doesn’t cover. Great general geeky science stuff.

Cognitive Science
Neurophilosophy – good blog on the brain and philosophy from Science Blogs.

Productivity
Study Hacks – good blog on becoming a better student, following many of the principles established by the rest of my Productivity section: doing less is more (to an extent)

Unsubscibed
DailyTech – DailyTech sucks. There is little to no editorial process – every single article has at least 3 typos and just wrong information. I could write better stuff in 7th grade. They also lag behind the rest of the tech journalism world by 2 days or so. I’ve kept subscribed to them because they had general science news and great hardware review overviews, but now that I’m a redditor, I don’t need this.
Reddits – see the reddit post

The master subscription list has been updated.

New to RSS or Google Reader? How I Do Google Reader

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New Feeds

A few more sites to be aware of…

Humor
passive-agressive notes – Saw this site at NACAP two weeks ago during the Facebook Forum. If you like this kind of thing, you should subscribe.
Zero Punctuation – Yahtzee, the British-born Australia-based video game reviewer, is an unending source of comedy gold: Sims 3 review

Productivity
The Art of Nonconformity – This guy is awesome, and wants everyone else to be awesome too. I agree. Chris has some unconventional ideas on how to be awesome, but that’s because awesomeness is unconventional. His life-manifesto “A Brief Guide for World Domination” is definitely worth reading. He also travels a bit. Start with the articles listed on his writings page, they’re pretty cool.

The master subscription list has been updated.

New to RSS or Google Reader? How I Do Google Reader

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New Feeds

Here’s some new RSS feeds:

Cognitive Science
Neuroantrhopology – Fascinating articles on brain and body. The Wednesday Round-Ups are an overload of awesome articles.
TED Blog – Blog from TED Talks with more information on talks and generally cool stuff

General News
Boston Globe: The Big Picture – The best photojournalism, about 3-4 slideshows a week.

Productivity
LifeHacker – High volume blog filled with cool programs and ideas to help boost productivity
The Simple Dollar – Great blog on personal finances. Make sure to check out his free eBook – “Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on Just One Page”

For pruning, I’ve unsubscribed from Glenn Greenwald‘s excellent blog. Sometimes you have to recognize when you aren’t actually reading articles. Despite the moral importance of declassifying torture memos, the articles weren’t directly giving me relevant information for this point in my life. Adam should keep sharing the good ones though.

For future reference, I created a master subscription list.

New to RSS or Google Reader? Check out the newly updated How I Do Google Reader

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Master Subscription List

This is a master list of my RSS subscriptions for use with Google Reader or other feed aggregators, along with some notes. Smaller text means the feed has been unsubscribed to. Links go directly to the feed, although I may change that to have just the icon point to the feed. New to RSS or Google Reader? How I Do Google Reader

General News
Boston Globe: The Big Picture – The best photojournalism, about 3-4 slideshows a week.
Astronomy Picture of the Day – excellent images from NASA that truly inspire discovery
Yahoo! News Top Stories – aggregate of AP, Reuters and AFP headlines. Feed just prints leading sentence and picture. Gives a good overview of what the mass media is talking about. High volume, low clickthrough.

Humor – mostly webcomics
Calvin & Hobbes – Bill Waterson’s genius, delivered daily 🙂
chainsawsuit – awesome one-off jokes
Dinosaur Comics – philosophical quandries involving dinosaurs
Hark! A Vagrant! – Kate Beaton writes comics about history
Nedroid Picture Diary – reginald and beartato!!!
Overcompensating – fairly classic, not-so-classy.
PhD Comics – adventures in academia
pictures for sad children – “this comic makes me happy, but then it makes me sad”
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – often perverse one-off jokes
T-Rex is Lonely – spinoff of Dinosaur Comics and Garfield Minus Garfield
Thinkin Lincoln – the adventures of Lincoln’s disembodied head. After all, Space Trips are only A Question of Science in the Two-Party System 🙂 [bonus win]
xkcd – geeky jokes
Something Awful – good long-form humor
Apokalips – I like this comic. It is fairly new to the scene.
passive-agressive notes – Saw this site at NACAP two weeks ago during the Facebook Forum. If you like this kind of thing, you should subscribe.
Zero Punctuation – Yahtzee, the British-born Australia-based video game reviewer, is an unending source of comedy gold: Sims 3 review

Notes: For more humor blogs check out posts by my friends Banjaloupe and Carlo Angiuli.

IU – local awareness
IU General News – feed from the Indiana.edu homepage
Indiana Daily Student – mostly for lulz
IU Cognitive Science News – announcements for IU CogSci undergrads
IU Computer Science Department – funnily enough, this has very little traffic. The CS website really could use an update.
IU School of Informatics
Bloomington VeloNews – Bloomington cycling news and information
The Robin – student-run satire magazine

Politics – for the obsessed
First Read – MSNBC’s political analysis blog, lots of volume. Good feel for what’s going on in Washington right now.
Five Thirty Eight – amazing analysis by Nate Silver. Started as an election prediction site, but has evolved into a lot more.
David Brooks – the only sane conservative columnist
Paul Krugman Blog – one of the most influential economists of our times. His daily political musings are interesting and often turn me to other cool resources.
Paul Krugman – his New York Times opeds
The Economist: InternationalThe Economist is one of my favorite print magazines, and the international section is the best part of it.
The Economist: The world this week – Worth subscribing to regardless of interest in politics, as it provides an excellent summary of the world each week.
GOOD transparency – great section of an online magazine with infographs (example: first 100 days of the presidency from Roosevelt to Obama )
Glenn Greenwald – great investigative reporter for Salon, currently investigating Obama’s civil liberties policy. Always eye opening.

Tech
Ars Technica – moderate volume, high quality. Great articles on everything technology
AnAndTech – hardware reviews and industry reports
Wired Top News – Fills the void in tech reporting that Ars Technica doesn’t cover. Great general geeky science stuff.
reddit in general

Products – these are just for updates on interesting products and companies.
Google Blog
Facebook Blog
Evernote Blog
bit.ly Blog

Weather
Atlantic Hurricanes – because hurricanes are freakin awesome
Indiana – Monroe/INZ062 – local watches and warnings
Kentucky – Calloway/KYZ009 – watches and warnings from back home
Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog – Weather articles from Dr. Jeff Masters, meteorologist and storm chaser.
Note: NOAA watch/warning information can be found by state or by county. Click on the XML button on the far right of your state’s row and then find your county.

CogSci
Mind Hacks – AMAZING blog about all things to do with the mind. They have a post every other week entitled “Brain Spikes” that just link to a ton of interesting articles.
Cognitive Daily – low-volume blog on random topics in cognition.
Neuroantrhopology – Fascinating articles on brain and body. The Wednesday Round-Ups are an overload of awesome articles.
Neurophilosophy – good blog on the brain and philosophy from Science Blogs.
TED Blog – Blog from TED Talks with more information on talks and generally cool stuff

Productivity
The Art of Nonconformity – This guy is awesome, and wants everyone else to be awesome too. I agree. Chris has some unconventional ideas on how to be awesome, but that’s because awesomeness is unconventional. His life-manifesto “A Brief Guide for World Domination” is definitely worth reading. He also travels a bit. Start with the articles listed on his writings page, they’re pretty cool.
Soul Shelter – Great blog about connecting with others in the modern, technological world. Required reading: In Defense of Solitude (Part 1, Part 2)
The Simple Dollar – Great blog on personal finances. Make sure to check out his free eBook – “Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on Just One Page”
Study Hacks – good blog on becoming a better student, following many of the principles established by the rest of my Productivity section: doing less is more (to an extent)
Zen Habits – Excellent productivity blog which spawned the Zen to Done (ZTD) system, a more practical version of Getting Things Done (GTD). See how I’ve implemented part of it: Doin Thangs.
LifeHacker – High volume blog filled with cool programs and ideas to help boost productivity

Jaimie Murdock
Shared Items
The Long Cut

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How I Do Google Reader

Google Reader is the single best tool on the Internet. There is a ton of news and information on the Internet, but people don’t know how to manage the onslaught of constantly changing content. Instead of taking advantage of the real-time nature of the web, they continue to utilize print, television and radio to get their current events, humor, music news, research publications, etc. often wasting time waiting for stories that interest them.

In Google Reader you subscribe to websites you are interested in, just like a magazine subscription. There are several ways to subscribe:

  1. In Google Reader, click the add a subscription button and enter the website URL or search terms and Google will find the feed for you.
  2. Just look for the RSS Icon and click on it. In Firefox this will bring you to a view of the feed. Just select Google from the list of subscription options and then click subscribe now.
  3. This icon may also appear in your browser’s address bar. Click it and you will be given subscription options.

In addition to giving you relevant information, Google Reader has a social aspect which allows you to share articles with your friends and see their shared articles. It’s a great way to foster discussion and helps us come across content we would not otherwise see. These shared items can be imported to Facebook, further extending their reach.

Google Reader has been a boon for my productivity – I no longer compulsively check sites for updates, they come to me. The trends feature allows me to look at what I’m really reading and determine whether my subscriptions are really worth it. Shared items have promoted hundreds of conversations. My morning routine now begins with an hour on Google Reader, like Granddad’s newspaper reading.

How do you pick good feeds? Well you can start with websites and blogs you normally visit. From there, add your friends blogs and put them in a Friends folder. As you add blogs, consider their volume and quality. The best feeds are low-volume and high-quality, where nearly every article is a must-read. Some feeds are meant for scrutinizing, while others are meant for skimming headlines.

Here are some essential feeds: (for more check out my Master Subscription List)

General News
Yahoo! News Top Stories – aggregate of AP, Reuters and AFP headlines. Feed just prints leading sentence and picture. Gives a good overview of what the mass media is talking about. High volume, low clickthrough.
Boston Globe: The Big Picture – The best photojournalism, about 3-4 slideshows a week.

IU – local awareness
IU General News – feed from the Indiana.edu homepage
Indiana Daily Student – mostly for lulz

Politics
First Read – MSNBC’s political analysis blog, lots of volume. Good feel for what’s going on in Washington right now.
The Economist: InternationalThe Economist is one of my favorite print magazines, and the international section is the best part of it.
The Economist: The world this week – Worth subscribing to regardless of interest in politics, as it provides an excellent summary of the world each week.
GOOD transparency – great section of an online magazine with infographs (example: first 100 days of the presidency from Roosevelt to Obama )

Tech
Ars Technica – moderate volume, high quality. Great articles on everything technology

Cognitive Science
Mind Hacks – AMAZING blog about all things to do with the mind. They have a post every other week entitled “Brain Spikes” that just link to a ton of interesting articles.
TED Blog – Blog from TED Talks with more information on talks and generally cool stuff

Productivity
LifeHacker – High volume blog filled with cool programs and ideas to help boost productivity
The Simple Dollar – Great blog on personal finances. Make sure to check out his free eBook – “Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on Just One Page”
Zen Habits – Excellent productivity blog which spawned the Zen to Done (ZTD) system, a more practical version of Getting Things Done (GTD). See how I’ve implemented part of it: Doin Thangs.

Final tip: Review your feeds every month and try to eliminate 10% of your feeds to reduce your volume. I often find myself unsubscribing from great feeds because I’m not actually reading them, and because there are friends who will fill that gap through shared items.

If you know of more useful feeds or have any Reader tips, feel free to comment!

Jaimie Murdock
Shared Items
The Long Cut
Master Subscription List

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