Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Daily Dose

We live in the age of information overload. Knowledge is power but there is a fine line that you tread in terms of the time you can invest to get the data you need. What does one consume? How much does one consume? How much is relevant? How much is accurate? What do you need to retain? What can you discard? In the democratized world of the internet, knowledge is democratized too and spread far and wide. There isn't a single source of good relevant information and one needs to hunt. I wrote to a friend of mine today morning asking him suggestions on sites he visits and blogs he reads in order to stay abreast of the latest in technology news. Its a necessary skill to have. If you need to be sufficiently aware, then you need to troll in an adroit fashion as well.

My mind went back to a post I had written in August of 2004. This listed my daily quota of browsing: sites that I would unerringly spend time on each morning to gather my daily dose of data. I am reproducing the list verbatim here:
-- TimesOfIndia (Yes, yes, it is a tabloid, but I have read their newspaper since I could read one)
-- Google News
-- New York Times
-- Mid-day (I need my dose of Mumbai-specific happenings)
-- Rediff (for news, movies, cricket)
-- Indiafm (my daily dose of Bollywood happenings)
-- Dilbert (daily dose of humor)
-- Slashdot (a brief glance into the geek world)
-- Cricinfo (there is always some cricket happening all around the world)

Here's the big surprise: four years hence, I still revisit the entire list still without any new additions (the only deletion is TimesOfIndia. It has sunk beyond redemption). Clearly this net I cast has withstood the test of time. The two sectors I think the above list doesn't cover too well are business and technology. I read the Economist, Newsweek, OutlookIndia off and on, and also have the Time magazine delivered to my place each week, but that is clearly not sufficient. The radio serves me well too, as I follow the NPR on a regular basis. The list of sites has served me well thus far and my obsessive need for knowing things is largely satisfied (it also stands me in good stead in my quiz club :-))However, I'd be interested in knowing how the rest of the world copes. Drop in a line. Tell me about your morning quota of browsing. Suggestions to add to my list are also welcome.


Vi said...

You're quite right. There's almost too much information out there - and a lot of it is...useless. And the Internet is a great equalizer: you can never be sure of the ethos of the person presenting the information.

My morning routine includes NYT and BBC for news, some obscure online comics for humor, along with my blog feeds, though I'm not sure how that information is important. :)

Hope you're doing well there, it's good to see you writing!

Lakshmi said...

Here are some of my favorites -

Wall Street Journal
NY Times Travel Section
NY Times Home and Garden
101 Cookbooks (
Gluten Free Girl (
The Traveller's Lunchbox (
Indian Uncut (
TIME Photoessays (
One Hot Stove (
A Lifetime of Cooking (
Blogical Conclusion (

and many more... will share later.

Parth said...

@Vi: BBC News is a good site too. I actually tend to read some cricket news over there more than anything else.

@Lakshmi: Long time no hear. I deliberately excluded blogs from my list. I subscribe to over 50 blogs but most of them are run by individuals, much like me. For news, there aren't a lot I rely upon. I should check out india uncut some more. Outlook India to me is the best option available online to get the updates on India itself.

Sridhar Iyer said...

I used to read a ton of these too, but now-a-days, I've trimmed down my list. I have a highly, highly, highly (did I say highly) customized version of Google News that I go through every day - and if I find an interesting story on there that does not link to timesofindia, I read it in detail.

Other than that, I scan through the headlines of WSJ and read a few opinions or articles there (the company subscription helps) and then there is NY Times that I love reading (especially Friedman, Dowd, Krugman and Brooks).

Parth said...

@Sridhar: NYTimes is also a complete must for me. Two things help there: one is the columnists that write there. Second is the layout. On a news website, how you position the news is critical, don't you think?

Pallavi said...

Here, some I want to add to the list:
but yeah, its like an addiction...

Parth said...

@Pallavi: Nice. Sites I hadn't heard off before :-)

Radha said...

My news site of preference is BBC News.

For financial/ economic views, I prefer economists & portfolio managers' blogs rather than any of the regular publications.

Parth said...

@Radha: That's interesting. Got some examples you can point me to?

Radha said...

Extempore said...

In addition to most of those mentioned, there are some to add, I think :-)


The Hindu Literary Review

The Guardian Blog

I also check out and None of them ever end up being everyday but every alternate day is what I do manage. And since you like photography, you should also check out the NatGeo photography section here.

Parth said...

@Radha: Thanks so much for the links.

@Extempore: Interesting addition to the set of links. Thanks so much. I have also followed on occassion.

30in2005 said...

BBC, Guardian, NYT, IBN - mainly - beside a load of blogs!

Parth said...

@#0in2005: Thanks.

mystic rose said...

Ive always enjoyed India Today and the Wasington Post, besides odd snippets from here and there. :)

Thanks for your compliment :) Im glad you like those, its been a while since I saw you.

Parth said...

@Mystic Rose: India Today ceased to be open without subscription a while ago. That's when I stopped visiting it and switched to OutlookIndia instead. Washington Post is a good addition to the list.

Sparsh said...

Very true.

I am a regular at bbc, Washington post, ibnlive, rediff, msnbc, cnn(won't recommend the last 2:)'s just for light reading), for the news from other side of the world., have been favorites for ages.

For bollywood info, It's
These days, I usually surf online for the products I want to buy before I visit the store so, etc are good too:). Some TV channels have their sites too, like

Parth said...

@Sparsh: Thanks. I should definitely check out that bollywood blog.

RS said...

I read the most read articles on NYTimes, Reuters oddly enough, Slashdot (if something interests me in the links), Quotes of the day, daily horoscope (for fun) and word of the day in my customized google home page, I also have a how-to of the day and some baby related widget added to that page...I don't really read news from news sites! So, I guess I would fare pretty badly on quizzes :p

Parth said...

@RS: Rueters is an interesting choice.