Monthly Archives: February 2012

Managing your digital subscriptions (RSS Feeds)

Like any netizen with an interest in remaining culturally aware and quasi-relevant among my peers, I consume a lot of content. Not just articles on Hacker News or WSJ, but also various blogs, tumblrs, Facebook statuses, Instagram photos, and tweets. In addition, I am normally on the go, waiting in lines, or like to browse content while under my comforter in bed. What is the best solution to managing all of these subscriptions across various platforms (laptop, mobile, and tablet)?

 

Laptop / Desktop

I’ve been an avid user of Google Reader for some time because I can organize my subscriptions into various folders. Moreover, I can easily email content directly from the web interface to my friends who may find it interesting.

Another reason to use Google Reader is that your account can be linked to mobile subscription reader apps such as Pulse and Flipboard. This ultimately provides cross-platform managability for your subscriptions.

Plus, you can create “bundles” (collection of individual subscriptions) and share them with your friends. See my Angel/VC Blogs bundle here.

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Google Reader web interface

 

Mobile / Tablet

The popular portable browsing apps include Pulse and Flipboard (both free and allows for social media integration). Before, I would add RSS feeds directly from the apps themselves, but that meant any change would require a separate, manual, and parallel change in Google Reader.

Pulse

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Pulse, unfortunately, does require some parallel managing. However, it is marginally more convenient than going through their interface to find the RSS feeds.

All you have to do is add your Google Reader account, which then includes all of the feeds organized à la web interface. From here, you can select the individual feeds to populate your Pulse.

Flipboard

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Flipboard is nice in that it does not require any parallel managing. Similar to Pulse, just add your Google Reader account, then add the folders from Google Reader. Anytime you add or remove an individual feed from your folders on Google Reader, the change will be automatically reflected on your Flipboard.

 

Single location for subscription management

With this setup, I only have to manage my subscriptions with Google Reader. The only downside is that if I want to dynamically add or remove a subscription, I would have to go through Google Reader (of which the web app on the mobile phone is a bit clunky).

 

How do you manage your subscriptions? Do you have a better or a more preferable method? Any recommended blogs that I may be interested in? Do you only look at pictures of cats?

Comments and thoughts are appreciated!

 

Andy

 

Follow me on twitter at @andyjiang.

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Description of Common Business School Classes

Pretty accurate description of Business School classes according to Jacob (via www.flailfast.com).

Andy

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Microeconomics: Taught by a professor supremely confident in their understanding of the world. Typically proven wrong every 10 years, but never in the classroom.

Macroeconomics: Taught by a professor supremely unsure in their understanding of the world. Typically proven wrong every 10 minutes, usually in the classroom.

Accounting: Criminally boring but universally regarded as important. Appeals to the perfectionist who demands compliance in their business dealings. Or the maverick who exploits accounting’s mile-wide holes. Both will likely be indicted in some sort of accounting fraud in the future, thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley, making the entire idea of becoming an accounting expert a lose-lose proposition.

Financial Markets: Where Microeconomics and Macroeconomics are distilled into supposedly practical “real-world knowledge.” A key example of the course’s pragmatism is the “Efficient Market Hypothesis,” an idea most elegantly proven wrong by the fact that a professor is paid $200,000 a year to teach it (a gross market inefficiency).

Human Resources: In this class you’ll learn how to dehumanize people as resources through the use of rewards and punishments. Outside of Financial Markets, the most efficient way to lose your soul.

Organizational Behavior: Ostensibly the study of advanced psychological techniques to bend large groups to your will, you wind up spending most of your time playing with legos, blocks, and fingerpaint to teach “team building” amongst adults. Colloquially called “Kindergarten Pro.” Strangely one of the most accurate representations of team building in modern business.

Operations: You learn how things are built but never how to build anything. You’ll discover concepts like “bottlenecks” and “critical paths” and spend weeks on “Six-Sigma Operations,” an idea popularized by Japanese automakers who were really, really consistent, by some arbitrary statistical value connected with the bell curve. You’ll marvel at the the technological sophistication but have absolutely no idea how to replicate any of it.

Marketing: Better described as “how to convince a consumer to buy damn near anything, usually against their self-interest.” Also known as “Advanced Lying Techniques” or “How Republicans Win Elections.” Biggest takeaway: never trust advertisements, PR agencies, or corporate executives.

Ethics: A class created by business schools to absolve themselves of any culpability when their graduates engage in evil, unethical things. Otherwise, serves the practical purpose of teaching you how to get away with doing evil, unethical things.

Strategy: The crown jewel of every business school’s core curriculum. Strategy synthesizes all other courses into a glorious edifice of oversimplifying frameworks and acronyms steeped in a solid foundation of rancid, steaming bullshit. It’s no coincidence that an MBA is sooner called a “Master of Bullshit Acronyms” than a “Master of Business Administration.” Strategy also holds many esteemed awards, including Most Frequent Abuser of the Case Writing Method, and Most Loved Class by Fortune 500 CEOs.”

 

 

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