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Devin Knight

Devin is a BI consultant at Pragmatic Works Consulting. Previously, he has tech edited the book Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services and was an author in the book Knight's 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. Devin has spoken at past conferences like PASS and at several SQL Saturday events. He is a contributing member to the Business Intelligence Special Interest Group (SIG) for PASS as a leader in the SSIS Focus Group. Making his home in Jacksonville, FL, Devin is a participating member of the local users’ group (JSSUG).

Consuming News Through Social Media and Read It Later With Pocket

These days the fastest way, not always the most accurate, to get news is through social media.  Technology, sports, politics, and breaking news will always be found first on social media outlets like Twitter. 

For example, I’m a huge fan of American Football or most known as the NFL.  Every year the NFL teams draft players from college teams to play professionally. This is done through a big televised spectacle called the NFL Draft and is held across multiple days once a year generally in April.  The highly anticipated moment is always when the commissioner walks up to the podium and announces which player each team has picked.  Well that moment that is so exciting to watch (most casual fans would not call the draft exciting) on live TV is now very anticlimactic because of Twitter and other social media outlets that told me 5 minutes earlier which player was picked. 

It sounds like I’m complaining right?  No, in actuality I love it and embrace it.  Obviously if i didn’t want to know this kind of information early I wouldn’t look at Twitter during the live draft.  Can i guarantee this information is accurate?  Absolutely not, there’s not any news outlets that can make that guarantee.  Sports news is one thing, if I make a mistake repeating what I read through social media it isn’t a big deal (because my career is not in sports) but technology, world news, politics, etc… you should always consider the source of the information and do your own research.  Don’t blindly believe everything you read through social media.  I think most people understand this but those that are new to consuming news through social media will learn it fast.

So you get my point, social media is great a providing news extremely fast.  Now if you’re like me you’re probably an extremely busy person.  I keep a very busy schedule at work and with three young children at home time is limited to catch up on the latest news.  That’s why Twitter is my favorite social media outlet.  Tweets are short, usually easy to read/search and with many of the mobile apps available I can quickly read them from my smart phone of choice. 

My smart phone is generally how I consume Twitter because like I mentioned I have such a busy work schedule I don’t have time to keep a constant distraction up on my screen while working.  Nothing against you if you do this, you’re probably just better at multitasking than I am.  With Twitter post only allowing 140 characters my phone is fine for reading content, but 140 characters isn’t long enough to read the full story is it?  I certainly don’t think so and that’s why tweets that have more information often will include a link to a full article or blog.  This is great but I don’t want to use my phone to read a two page story.

That’s why for about  9 months now I’ve been using a a free online tool called Pocket(formally Read It Later) to read entire stories at my convenience.  Basically Pocket let’s you archive any Twitter post that has a link so you can read at a later time.  This has definitely saved me because often I’ve seen a tweet about a new piece of technology and if I didn’t have this archiving tool I would probably forget to go back and read about it later.  The nice thing is it’s not limited to Twitter.  For example, some web browsers have a Pocket add-in that will allow you to archive web pages as you surf the web.

I also like really like the output.  It almost has the look and feel of live tiles that you can scroll through to catch up on your stories.

image

I’m not much for endorsing products but I thought I would share this one sense it has allowed me to keep up with the details of news rather than just the headlines.  If you’re interested in giving Pocket a try visit them here http://getpocket.com/.

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