Upgrading Habits

If you’re anything like me, you have a rather large list of blogs and other online news RSS feeds. For some time now, I’ve used my Google homepage to aggregate those feeds but it has never been a perfect solution. But not long ago, I started using the news reading application from Pulse on my Droid Smartphone and iPad and after several months of regular use, I have to say that it is the best solution I’ve found to keep on top of all my regular sources. The only hitch is that, as of now, it is only available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

But if you fall into any of those device categories, then you should certainly give it a look. It’s a free download for all platforms and although you can sync it with your existing Google Reader, you’ll likely end up entering in your content manually. But really, that isn’t as big of a chore as it sounds and with the ability to categorize all of your news sources, it is even kind of fun.

In short, I find that I don’t necessarily spend more time reading articles but I get through far more material because of how much more engaging and efficient the app aggregates and displays all of the content. For example, I can sit down and read all of my traditional news sources, all of my tech articles, nonprofit related content, and the growing list of culture blogs.

Having started with the iPad version, I was a little concerned that the Smartphone interface would be confining but I’m pleased to say that isn’t the case at all. In full disclosure, I have no affiliation with Pulse nor has anyone from the organization contacted me to write about their product. I’m simply pleased with the service they provide and think others will find it useful as well. Having said that, I hope Pulse doesn’t change their service by over-engineering it (<cough> <cough> Facebook <cough> <cough>) or load it up with ads or other nonsense (<cough> <cough> newspaper websites <cough> Huffington Post <cough> <cough>).

Speaking of obtrusive ads, Pulse provides two options for reading RSS content; via the original source or as text only. As a result, Pulse makes reading content from nonsense laden sources a far more enjoyable experience.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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