This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

My Media Sources

Nimmy pegged me, and since I need to do some procrastinating, here we go.  The idea is to tell you about what media sources I use (web, print, audio, video).  If this were more than an exercise in ego, then one could imagine using this information to understand where I get information and how that informs what I know and what I say (here or anywhere).

This is not a quick list.  Nimmy posted a couple weeks ago, and I have tossed in thoughts from time to time.  Read along, below the fold, if you are really interested.

The web: blogs.  In terms of volume, this is probably the biggest customer of my time -- and biggest provider of content.  I have about 400 blogs in my aggregator, with the amount of regular checks varying depending on my time.  I've got about 25 that I like to check regularly (daily if possible), but then there are another 25 blogs of friends that I like to check regularly because I want to know how they are doing.  Then there are 50+ blogs in the next circle of blogs that I follow when I have more time. Other groupings of blogs include knowledge management, those related to the tools I use, project management, bloggers related to events I've attended / will attend, organizations I follow, and several other categories.  I am using GreatNews to read these blogs, but I frequently check others to see what's happening.

The web: general.  Of course, I will turn up other materials on the web, but these are based on recommendations from my blog reading or from other colleagues.  Search is my friend, and I like to think I have good facility with building useful search queries.  On the down side, I frequently have lots of tabs open of materials I want to read or process in some way.

Audio: music.  Our house has tons of CD's in it.  My wife and I were music lovers before we met, and that has been an enduring aspect of what we do.  We now get to introduce our children to everything we like, ranging all over the map: James Brown, Miles Davis, Sonic Youth, The Fall, Interpol, Fountains of Wayne...  I have also accumulated a decent collection of digital music via eMusic.  And with a new iPod, this music gets to come with me to more places than before.  With two small children, we are also hearing a lot of kid-centric music, which isn't all insipid, happily.  We still get to a number of concerts, depending on the touring schedule and our access to babysitters.  Summer in Chicago is wonderful, as there are many street festivals that feature music.  I can't remember the last show I attended -- possibly Wee Hairy Beasties.  The next show on the lineup is Bloc Party in two weeks.  And we are planning to see Iggy and the Stooges when they come through in April.

Audio: podcasts.  With the new iPod, I have been exploring the world of podcasts.  I've picked up suggestions from friends and my brother, and have been exploring suggestions from Open Culture.  I was thrilled to find HG Wells' Time Machine as a series of shows, for example.  My listening tends to be new-to-me music, technology and general business trends.  I think my favorite for now is TWiT (This Week in Tech), as it usually makes me laugh.  I'll do a separate post with thoughts about the shows I'm listening to now.

Audio: radio.  I generally wake up to the radio (NPR news), and listen to it in the car.  There is a wonderful Sunday afternoon jazz show on our local public radio channel, but it was recently scaled back to one hour from three.  I also listen to Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! when I can. 

Print: books.  I'm a reader, but of late I have not been anywhere near my personal "50 books a year" challenge.  Part of that has to do with my travel situation.  When I was taking public transit to work most days, I would finish books on a regular basis.  The other has to do with all the other media I consume (blogs).  I'm a member of a book club that meets about 10 times a year, and I've read about half of the books recently.  I certainly have a nice big pile of books I'd like to read with topics ranging from theory of constraints, a variety of fiction, parenting, knowledge management, and others.  I've just finished a leadership book that I'll be reviewing shortly.  And I've just started books 5 and 6 of Harry Potter, (I started book 6 and realized I had missed something).

Print: journals, magazines & newspapers.  We get the Chicago Tribune, and I usually peruse the front page and business sections (along with the comics) on a daily basis.  When I travel, I prefer the newspaper to the TV news.  I also get KM World, Business 2.0, Wired, VeloNews and Communications of the ACM.  My keeping up with these varies all over the map.  Sometimes I'll breeze through an issue as soon as it arrives.  Recently, I was embarrassed to find the 2006 VeloNews buyers' guide on a pile in the same week that the 2007 buyers' guide.

Video: TV.  I watched tons of TV when I was a kid.  Even when I was being punished, I managed to watch lots of TV.  But now, there are too many other things happening and it is not a priority for me.  Tivo (actually a Toshiba DVR without the contract) makes watching TV convenient for us.  The Simpsons, Veronica Mars and Versus (nee OLN) coverage of professional cycling are the things we make pains to watch.  Everything else depends on timing and/or boredom with other media options, but that includes nightly Simpsons, Daily Show, Colbert Report, Futurama. 

Video: Film.  We don't put a priority on getting out to movies.  My wife works at a library that shows movies for free, and we've been there more times for films than the theaters - most recently for The Departed.  We do watch at home with Lucky Number Slevin being the most recent.  We get videos for the kids too - every train documentary the library has.  In terms of all-time favorites, you've got Clockwork Orange and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder please).

Communication.  As with most people hooked into the web, I heavily rely on email to communicate, even for reminders and questions to my wife when we are not in the same room.  I've got a half a dozen accounts for various organizations and purposes.  Primary business and friends mail goes one place; mailing list mail goes to one another; etc.  Everything comes into Microsoft Outlook and gets filtered into folders to keep me from going nuts.  I use IM (Skype) from time to time, maybe a few times a week.  I've transitioned most of my bill-paying to the web, which has done a nice job of removing that monthly time-sink from my life.

Thanks, Nimmy.  I will repay you somehow.  I don't think I'm going to pass this meme along.  It takes far too long.  If you want to share, go right ahead.

Current podcast selections

Actually, that looks good