In the Agile Photographer presentation, I recommend developing two RSS feeds or bookmark folders to help you glean the most valuable information from the sea of blog posts, news sources and Twitter updates on the Web. I call these your “A-list” and “B-list” sources.
The A-list sources are the most thought-provoking sources of content. Those people who have the vision of where we’ll be in five or ten years and can articulate the ways this will influence the visual arts, business, culture or the economy. Although these sources don’t write as often as other sources (they’re often busy building the future), their words are gold-and should be treated as such.
The B-list sources help to fill in the blank spaces between today and the future the A-list authors are articulating. These typically aren’t news outlets per se, rather sources discussing the most important trend, developments and insights affecting our world right now.
Because the b-list is a broader list, there tends to be a lot more chatter than the A-list sources. For that reason, I tend to give the B-list a more cursory read through, jumping into only the articles that hold the most promise.
For me, the system that works well is to have RSS subscriptions to the A-list sources in a folder on my bookmarks menu in Safari. This way, I can quickly glance through the list to see who’s posted new material and jump in when I have a few spare minutes through the course of the day.
My B-list sources are managed by Google Reader. Right now, my favorite source for culling through this material is Flipboard on my iPad, though I’ve used Net News Wire for a long time. Flipboard provides more of a magazine-style layout making it easier to glance through article titles and headings. Net News Wire gives a list of the blog titles and hides previously read articles and is a better choice for managing a large number of subscriptions.
Either way, you’ll want to develop a system that allows you to get the information you need without spending too much time sifting through extraneous posts.
To help you get started, here are a few A-list and B-list sources relevant to the Agile Photographer discussion. My B-list in particular tends to be more multimedia-focused, so adjust to your own tastes.