The Economist is launching a daily digital email and/or app (Economist Espresso) that is meant to help you keep ahead of the news in really bite-size chunks. 5 stories each with just 150 words.
“We’re trying to give you a sense of being out ahead of the news. To tell you what’s going to happen and tell you what to think about it.” ~ Tom Standage, The Economist’s digital editor.
It’s clever. The Economist can be a lot to read. It’s a beautiful read, but it’s a lot.
Chopping up all of that content they already have created and repackaging and reselling it in another format is not wholly unlike how our friends in retail get that selling me “100 calorie” packets of Oreos is going to be an easier sell than selling a Costco-size package of cookies.
I read the other day that 30% of the US gets their news from Facebook. A fifth get it from YouTube. I have to think you’re missing out on something by letting the news get curated for you by your social feeds. Do we realize what echo chambers of thoughts those sites can create through personalized feeds?
I recognize that I’m a bit old-school in this, but I do still prefer to get my news delivered to my door step each morning. We get the weekly Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal. And then get the weekend New York Times.
I mean. I also subscribe to 115 blogs in my RSS reader, follow 1,120 Twitter feeds and have no problem reading my Kindle and watching Scandal on my iPad while on the treadmill.
But I love the papers.
I know it’s time to wake up when I hear the double whack of the papers against my front door. I love the little Christmas notes the delivery man leaves in then each holiday. My wife and I sit down over coffee in the mornings and pass sections of the paper back and forth to one another. We like to read particularly good obits out loud. We always make a point to read the Letters to the Editor in the Globe and applaud well-thought out, spiffy arguments.
The weekends have their own special rites. There’s more paper. There’s more coffee. I have a way I like to have the papers arranged with certain sections up front and certain sections (NYTimes Sports pages) go straight to recycling.
Many of the Sunday sections (Style and Book Review) lay on the dining table right up until recycling day to be enjoyed.
I think we miss something when we let so much of the world get curated for us.