I have a Facebook list, a Twitter list, a Tumblr list. I used to have a well-manicured LiveJournal list and to date myself and at the risk of geek cred, back in the early 00â€™s I had a Xanga list. All of these lists contribute to the information I get. Theyâ€™re the structure Iâ€™ve built to keep in touch with friends and to follow the writings and art of interesting people. But most importantly, they are how I consume data. These trusted advisors to my news gathering are my information network.
I donâ€™t watch traditional news anymore. I havenâ€™t in years. Probably since I was required to when I was an Advertising student in college. I hate the news. Most of what is on reported is spun and unpleasant. I donâ€™t care who died in a shooting today or a car bombing. I donâ€™t care what the Republicans and Democrats did or didnâ€™t do. Most of these things have absolutely no bearing on my life, daily or in the bigger scheme of things.
In Richmond, the nightly news contained murders. Lots and lots of murders. No longer atop the United Statesâ€™ list of deadliest cities, at last count it was still in the top 10. Do I need to know who got shot today? I donâ€™t. I know it matters to someone somewhere. But in my life, it does not matter to me.
What if something big and important happens? Then Iâ€™ll find out about it through my lists. I found out about Princess Dianaâ€™s death via someone randomly popping into the chatroom I was in and announcing it. I first saw the 9/11 attacks via instant message, then a roommate pounding at my bedroom door. I donâ€™t need the talking heads of our national and local news networks to tell me these things. If itâ€™s important enough to warrant my attention, someone else from my lists will bring it to me.