How many times do you see "Visit my blog!", "We have great news articles online here" or "See our website for more"? How often do you actually follow up just to see what is there?
My guess is the honest answer for most of you is “not often.” The more telling question is if you find something great there, would you remember to return for more in the future?
Our online reading habits have changed. It is increasingly rare for most Internet users to go to many news sites just to see what the current stories are there. There are, of course, exceptions. I am a long-term reader of the New York Times and often read articles from the online edition. Many people still visit one or two popular news sites, like CNN.com or Google News. With football season fast approaching, I will be most certainly reading more articles on sports news websites.
But today it is much more likely that I will go to a site just to read a specific article than to just look for current news. I think that is true for many. I read a lot of online articles because they were suggested to me by someone I follow on Twitter, a Facebook friend or a link aggregator like SmallLaw® from TechnoLawyer.® I often don’t have enough time to read all of the good content that is suggested for me, much less to search for more content on my own.
Newsreaders are a great tool for each individual Internet user to collect all the content that they might be interested in reading. Unfortunately, for most lawyers, the term “RSS newsreader” translates into “something that is too complicated for me and I probably don’t have time for anyway.” That is simply not the case.
So I decided to outline some of the tools and recent developments in this area for my Oklahoma Bar Journal column Reading Online News Items (2014 Edition). There are some really great tools available today. If you haven’t tried Flipboard on your mobile device, you are missing out on something easy, simple and beautifully elegant. Likewise, if you use the federal court database PACER, you really owe it to yourself to give the free PacerPro® service a try.
You may be worried that these tools will be setting up another inbox that you will not have time to review. But it is pretty easy to scan many articles in your newsreader for the few you want to read. If you return from a vacation or a week-long trial to find hundreds of items backed up, you can just mark them as as read and start over. After all without the newsreader, you would have likely missed all of them anyway.
I hope you enjoy Reading Online News Items (2014 Edition). Even if you don’t sign up for one of these services today, you can go to Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog and enter your email address to subscribe to receive my blog posts via email.