How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts and the literary world, to hear their answers. This is drawn from a conversation with Bess Levin, editor at Dealbreaker.
Ideally, my day starts around 6:30 checking emails on my Blackberry. On my computer at the office, the homepage is The New York Times, and bookmarks are Dealbreaker, Gmail, the login page for our publishing platform, and a few others. I don't use Google Reader, I'm embarrassed about that. I could do a better job if things were more organized, but I don't do that right now.
For work, I don't usually read many commentary sites, in terms of Wall Street stuff. Since what we do is a mix of original stories from sources and then our own commentary on items, it's not that helpful to me to read those sites when trying to develop my own take. So I like reading the story without the spin on it.
My main sources of news for items that we're putting our commentary on are Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. When I go to find about breaking news, nine times out of ten it's at Bloomberg and The Journal. I'm on those sites constantly throughout the day. I also go to CNBC.com regularly because they do a good job of gathering stories and aggregating things. On TV, right next to my desk, I'll have CNBC on. Mostly it's on mute, but, if there's a breaking news banner and the anchors are getting very excited about something, then we may unmute it. I'll keep it on for big stories that I may be missing if I'm looking at something else on my computer. Also, the reason why we keep CNBC on TV is that we've found that most of our readers have it on in the trading floors in their offices. There was a time a few years ago, at the beginning of Dealbreaker, when people would email us and say, "Did you see that thing that just happened on CNBC?" They sort of expected that everyone has it on. So we keep the channel on too.
In addition to the big financial publications, one of my favorite things to read are the local Connecticut papers like The Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time. They're helpful because those areas are so densely populated with people who work in the financial industry. So they'll have stories about these people just as residents and their extra-curricular activities too.
Every few days, I also like to check in with Paul Krugman's Times blog because I love watching how finger snappingly sassy he gets with people (not just for a Nobel prize-winning economist, for a human).
As far social-networking, I'm a really bad Twitter user. Since I'm not tweeting, it isn't a major part of my day. I feel like I don't have time to post additional things there, if there's something I'm going to say it's going to be on Dealbreaker. But, personally, I do have twitter.com/besslevin so if I decide to start tweeting I could. Our site does have a Twitter account that's sort of set up as a glorified RSS feed of our stories, and I have people that I check on throughout the day. Heidi Moore, she's my go-to person. I sort of use her as like a news wire on Twitter. She's just a human aggregator who tweets hundreds of things a day and always has relevant stories about Wall Street. Besides Heidi's feed, during the day I check out people like Dan Primack, John Carney, Jessica Pressler, and Katie Benner, among others.
At the office I'm not reading much in print, though we have subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times. We also have an Economist subscription, and I'll pick that up when it arrives. Personally, I subscribe to New York magazine. And I'll buy one-off issues of Esquire or Vanity Fair.
My mostly-after-work reading includes a good irate (but believable) Yelp review (this is my all-time favorite, the one about the guy being called "a piece of garbage in front of all the other customers"). And I'll read The Onion, The Awl, Katie Baker's blog and her Grantland writing and that parody Twitter account of Bloomberg, El Bloombito (it was set up after the mayor tried a little Spanish during his Hurricane Irene interviews). I read New York magazine's Daily Intel for both work and fun. There's Deadspin too: I don't know that much about sports, but I like their stories. Also, their commenters are the second-best on the internet.
And I listen to the Christian Bale on-set freak-out clip at least once a week (I really enjoy people working themselves up about something).