In my opinion, one of the most important things you can do to succeed in your chosen profession, is to invest time and effort into selecting the best blogs and news feeds in the world that will connect you with the thought leaders in your field. I agree with Tim Sanders that 80% of your time learning should be with the best books (source: Love is the Killer App), but then the 20% that is spent with media or online to stay current with breaking news and thought, should be the best sources anywhere.
My Google Reader (for RSS feeds--highly recommended!) now has a wonderful "share this" feature, which allows me to quickly tag the best news stories that I read each week, even when I don't have time to blog about them. Then, those shared items show up online for others to view. My shared items can be found here.
If you can afford to stop working for part or all of the next three days, you can hear from dozens of the most successful online marketers in the industry--for free and from the convenience of your own home or office. (Or you can sign up for $99.95 and get access to more than 175 online presentations--that's one a day for the next 6 months.)
In May 2005 Fraser Bullock, one of Utah's brightest lights in the financial world (formerly with Bain Capital, now runs Sorenson Capital, helped with the 2002 Olympics turn-around), spoke at the Edison Conference in Salt Lake City. Fortunately, I had my blackberry and I took extensive notes. Here are my notes from the middle part of his talk:
Management has to be adaptable. 1990 someone brought him into run home shopping network, pre-internet. Challenge was to get consumers to buy. They had a patent. Decided they had assets, what could they build that might be of worth. Built transaction processing engine for remote banking. Sold it to Visa International in 1994. In fast moving tech environment, if I didn't step back every 3-6 months to fundamentally re-assess our assets and the environment, I might be missing a paradigm shift. You need the discipline to step back.
One of my favorite free web services is Google Alerts. I have more than 200 keywords that I track now. I find more value in this than in RSS feeds, which subscribe me to lots of content that I don't really want. Almost all of my Google Alerts give me content that I really do want.
I love Google Alerts and I get 50-100 per day on my blackberry. But what I really want is an intelligent alerts system that cuts across all media types (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs, business conferences, and podcasts) and prioritizes all of this media based on a profile that I build. For example, I would set up a list of topics, people and companies that I am interested in. And I would create some rules about the kinds of content that I consider most authoritative: perhaps listing my favorite types of content, or publishers that I consider most credible.