OK So you finally figured out how to load into your RSS reader all the news sites and weblogs your heart desires — or at least the tiny percentage of those that your online travels have made you aware of. You feel a little like Google with its custom delivery of personally compatible news and opinions culled from a vast and disparate array of digital content providers.
How do you know that your favorite RSS channel really holds the best take on what you have sought? After all, you’re not an editor by training. In fact, the word taxonomy still remains a mystery to you. Most of the content you’ve collected arrived on your desktop by serendipity or through its Google/Technorati juice.
I just received my latest electronic edition of The Week magazine. Are you familiar with the publication? The Week has no original content — just smart editors who scour the best journalism of the past week for reprinting in the magazine. It has quickly become one of my favorite reads. Maybe it’s because I’ve had lunch with its president Justin Smith whose effusiveness for the magazine is infectious. Or perhaps I’m just feeling frustrated by the time it takes to click through the myriad online content choices (and their RSS buttons) to find the quality journalism I crave. It’s so much easier to have a professional do it for me.
Without The Week I would have missed Trevor Butterworth’s blog-contrarian piece this week in the FT. And don’t think the magazine has forsaken the commentary that increasingly dominates the media mix. It created the “Opinion Awards” where bloggers can also have their day in the sun.
There’s much to be said for RSS readers’ ability to cut through the voluminous electronic clutter available today, but there’s also much to admire in a paper publication whose discerning editors eliminate the drudgery for you.