We all have online addictions that we may, or may not, publicly admit to. They are the sites that you visit every day, and when you don’t, you get the same feeling as when you forget to put on your watch or ring in the morning.
Let me preface my list by saying that these are in addition to reading “serious” news sites, as well as mindless, yet awesome, sites like someecards. So here are a few habits that I can’t seem (or want) to break.
I refuse to part with Google as my search engine, but I still go to Microsoft’s Bing.com every day to see the daily picture and read the four related fun facts. I’m convinced that knowing that the world’s tallest road bridge is in France or that the male Blue-footed Booby with the bluest feet gets the girl will come in handy one day. At the very least, I’m building my Jeopardy knowledge. I mean, I shouldn’t gloat about beating a 10-year-old on “Kids Week” – but I do.
Side note: Have you seen the winner of the Bing jingle contest? Really? That’s the best that’s out there?
2. New York Times Quote
I signed up for the daily New York Times email update for the sole purpose of the Quotation of the Day, and before you cheer or jeer the New York Times, the daily quote doesn’t have any political undertones. It can be anyone from the Pope to drug addicts in small town America, but it’s almost always insightful. It’s amazing what you’ll learn from a quote.
I’m counting these two sites as one, since it seems impossible to talk about one without the other. I log on every morning and check Cookerly’s Facebook and Twitter pages, along with all of my clients’ pages to see if there were any comments, discussions, tweets, etc. that I missed. I don’t want to be the last to know.
Another side note: Does this happen to anyone else? When I’ve got Facebook up on my computer screen at work, I want to turn around to everyone who walks by my desk and say, “It’s for work. I promise. I’m still billable!”
4. The Bad Pitch Blog
I actually have an RSS feed set up for the Bad Pitch Blog, since they don’t post every day. And while most of their advice seems elementary to anyone who’s been in PR for a while, it’s always a nice to be reminded, in no uncertain terms, of the things that make you look like an idiot. So yes, it’s worth your time to research reporters and send customized pitches – because emailing the same pitch to 20 editors simultaneously might land your name on the blog’s homepage as an example of what not to do.
Whether you’re a Peter Shankman fan or not, you should at least know what he’s up to. He didn’t get to the top of the PR/social media empire by being clueless and unconnected. So yeah, maybe it’s overkill to know that he biked over the GWB on a 38-mile bike ride in and around Manhattan, but it’s worth it to know his insight into new social media platforms, pitching trends and gadgets (i.e., do you Poken?).
*Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a free service, founded by Peter Shankman, that connects thousands of reporters to more than 100,000 sources. Think of it as match.com for journalists and spokespeople.
So there it is. Five things I check in with every day, along with the million other news sites and blogs that keep me connected.
What are you addicted to?