Expand Your Blog Reading

reading First, I’m forever grateful to those of you who stop by and read [chrisbrogan.com] , and even more thrilled when you’re subscribed for free to get it sent to you. One thing you may or may not know is that I read a LOT of blog posts and information in any given week, and this often sparks my ideas for what I cover here on the site. To that end, I thought I’d give you some ideas in general to expand your blog reading, and then recommend a few (almost random) blogs that I’m reading for you to add to your list.

Part of this involves tools and a purpose. But then, don’t all my suggestions have a bit of goal and a bit of resource to them? Why should reading be any different? And oh, that’s maybe a hint. If you’re not much of a reader, it’s going to be hard for you to be a writer. Sorry, that’s the way it works.

Reading With Purpose

My goals in reading lately fall into four categories:

  1. Reading what friends write.
  2. Reading about the “new marketing” industry and the tech industry (fishbowl).
  3. Reading what people recommend.
  4. Reading off the wall stuff that inspires new thoughts (outside the bowl).

I do this very purposefully. If all I did was regurgitate what’s in the fishbowl, why would you bother reading me. Second, when reading what people recommend, I find things I might have passed over a first time, but because of someone’s highlighting, I give it extra weight. And finally, I do a little mental curating of all that reading to create something fresh for you. Remember: my goal with writing is to make things that you find useful. I’m not writing for myself, here (except when I am). Your goals might be different. Think about that before you engage in any of these reading ideas.

Reading Tools

I use three tools extensively to perform my blog reading:

  1. Google Reader
  2. Twitter
  3. FriendFeed

The first tool, Google Reader, allows me a few features: one, I can read really fast using keyboard commands to move through the information quickly. Two, I can share information rapidly by hitting Shift-S, and I can annotate it by leaving a note. Three, Google Reader lets me see what other people I’ve added as friends have shared, and thus, I can learn from their interests.

The second and third tools do relatively the same thing: they find me things to read by other means than by sharing or my pre-existing subscriptions. I find that when I surf Twitter for links (easier to do using Summize), I can find some really interesting things that otherwise might have slipped through the cracks.

Some Blogs to Try out

First off, if you haven’t dipped your toes into my Rockstars page, you’re missing out on several folks who belong to this community and who read and contribute here.

Second, here are a few blogs I’ve dropped by recently that might be interesting to add some perspective to your reading:

There are plenty of blogs to read about social media and tech and the like. I’ve been using Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop more and more as a place to find new things to expand my reading. I give things a few weeks. If they don’t seem to be steady reads for me, I might drop them again. It’s the web. Everything comes around again. Right?

Those are some ideas for expanding your blog reading efforts. Anything I might have missed? What else would you like to know? Who’s someone (not yourself) that you’d like to recommend we all check out? Let’s talk about that in the comments, okay?

Photo credit, mo riza

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