How do you keep up with the news?

I started to ask around, and every single person felt the same way: it’s hard, it’s time consuming, it’s a mess. So much is being published everyday, and there’s so much noise.

People have their own routine:

  • some still use RSS feeds. But they think it’s only as good as the sites they are subscribed to (they probably miss interesting, independent stuff) and there’s no filtering.
  • some rely on dedicated apps like Flipboard. But the curation on these platforms is not clear: why am I shown this instead of that? Does this article really matter or is it just that the headline is sexy and people have been clicking it?
  • some rely on social networks: Facebook, Twitter etc. will tell you what your friends share or recommend. Yet people complain the amount of noise in these feeds is unmanageable. And for more “professional” topics, it often fails.

One thing is clear: NO ONE is satisfied.


The birth of an idea

In many fields, there are people who are widely considered experts. In tech these might be specific entrepreneurs, business angels etc. In finance: noted analysts, fund managers, journalists.

http://gameofangels.com

Whereas these experts used to distill their knowledge behind closed doors, they are doing so publicly now on the Internet. Be it on blogs, social networks, etc.

Who better than noted experts to tell us which articles really matter? They have to track all that — their expertise requires it — and they know what is noise and what is genuinely interesting.

And what if we could even find out when several experts share the same piece of content? Isn’t such consensus the proof it’s an important read?

Could that be the best possible curation mechanism?


Experimenting

In order to check whether this idea made sense, I turned it into a little program:

  • It identifies the leading experts in specific domains
  • It monitors and analyses what they publish on social networks
  • If several of them share the same article, it’s recorded as an important read

And with each selected article, the tool shows what the experts had to say on the topic. This makes for short contextual analyses that add to your understanding.

The results are delivered as an email digest. I called it Forereads (yes, email digests have names!). It looks like this:


It worked!

I started to send Forereads around to people in my network. They loved it:

“It surprises me daily. With content I’d never discover on my own. Brief, insightful and entertaining. Love it.” — Shane Leonard CFA, Stockflare
“What struck me most was a week or so in I noticed I had been reading the daily email every day without fail.” — Akram Hussein, Oba
“Forereads gives me a lot of great content ideas to post on Twitter” — Marie Outtier, WiseMobile

Too good, in fact, to keep it for ourselves. They convinced me I should let more people try it. A quick landing page later, now you can (let’s just hope my AWS Micro Instance will hold 😬).

If, like us, you are struggling to keep up with the news, please do give it a go and let me know what you think. All you need is an email address.

Get access here.


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