Living with the Internet means that we have on-the-go access to more information on our personal smartphones than large organizations had on gigantic computers thirty years ago. The web has made it easier than ever to stay informed. On the flipside, the web has also made our lives a bit more overwhelming than we ever expected. While digital news should be seamlessly coming to us as the daily newspaper once arrived at our doorsteps each morning, the reality is not as we hoped. The fact is, being in the know takes time and effort.

Over the past 10 years, companies have done their best to make it easier for information to find us, instead of the other way around. From Delicious, Digg and Technorati, to Google, Twitter and Facebook, many have offered to simplify our lives - often not living up to the promise.

While modern technology has not provided us with a service that lets us download knowledge directly into our brain - as in The Matrix - that doesn’t mean we should settle with the tools of the early Internet. Bookmarking websites and setting up endless real-time news alerts is simply not an efficient way to browse news that you care about. It takes forever! Scrolling through social media news feeds and timelines is also a HUGE time suck, and rarely an effective way to consistently be up-to-date. There must be a better way, right?

Well, the short answer is yes - there is a better way. The long answer is that you need to be aware of new tools and services available and leverage those that will work for you.

Here's a list of modern sites that will help you stay up-to-date on my favorite topic: tech.


1. CURATED NEWS



TechMemeTechmeme's human editors monitor the web so you don't have to. This expertly curated site presents a summary of the day's essential tech reports and analysis. The site's popularity has spawned other sites such as MediaGazer and Memeorandum.


SmartBriefSmartBrief provides free, e-mail based news summaries and other content for industry associations, professional organizations, advocacy groups and their constituents. Tech newsletters include electronics, semiconductors, software and IT sales.


2. CONTENT SHARING COMMUNITIES

QuibbLaunched in 2013, Quibb is a content-sharing network that helps industry professionals share and discuss relevant news. With only 38% of applicants accepted as users, the caliber of community members - all of which must be verified as experienced professionals - makes Quibb stand out.

Hacker NewsStartup accelerator Y Combinator created Hacker News, a community inspired by Reddit, where users contribute news and upvote them. Since 2007, programmers, entrepreneurs and computer science enthusiasts have made Hacker News a must-visit destination.


RedditNearly-ten-year-old Reddit has become well known as a source of cultural memes, but its Technology subreddit is also a great source for tech news and discussion. The simplicity of Reddit and its strong sense of community has made it endure the test of time.

Product Hunt: PH surfaces the best new products, every day. It's a place for product-loving enthusiasts to share the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and other tech creations. Product Hunt has become a tech darling over the past couple of months - rapidly growing from a personal project to a destination visited by VCs, tech veterans with a $1MM seed investment.


PandaA browser extension and website that aggregates the most recent news and content across Hacker News, Product Hunt, Dribbble, Designer News, Growth Hackers, Behance and more.


3. SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook GroupsFacebook Groups are a fantastic way to connect with others who care deeply about specific topics. There are many public Facebook Groups open to anyone, but the best groups are usually private (and secret - not searchable). I've created a few of these, including All Things Crowd, All Things Context and All Things Social, to personally curate members I trust.

Facebook and Twitter Lists: Facebook and Twitter have not invested a lot of effort into their “Lists” functionality, but this continues to be a good way to segment content based on authors and accounts.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a digital pinboard. Beyond being a good way to plan a trip or a wedding, Pinterest is actually a great way to bookmark content and links thanks to its browser extensions and easy-sharing functionality on mobile devices. Pinterest is visual and you can collaborate on pinboards with others.


4. PODCASTS

Stitcher: Stitcher is a mobile app that’s become a destination for some of the best podcasts available today - i.e. WSJ Tech Briefing, Engadget, This Week in Startups, Engadget, Dorm Room Tycoon, and every show on CNET and TWiT.

Soundcloud: If a podcast is not on Stitcher, it may be because it is a Soundcloud podcast. Soundcloud has become a fantastic destination for indie, trendy and up-and-coming musicians, and it has also become a great source for streaming podcasts like Andreessen Horowitz's "a16z."


5. OTHER DIGITAL RESOURCES

CrunchBase: CrunchBase is the world’s most comprehensive dataset of startup activity. Founded by Michael Arrington as a crowd sourced database for TechCrunch, the site now contains over 500,000 profiles for companies and people. CrunchBase showcases daily trends, acquisitions and top funding rounds on its homepage.


Coursera: Coursera provides free online educational courses based on focused programs created by great universities, and tailored so you can master applied skills. From Data Science to Cybersecurity, Coursera's courses provide a glimpse of the latest and greatest in tech education.


SlideShareSlideShare is a slide hosting service where anyone can upload and showcase presentation decks. Launched in 2006 and acquired by LinkedIn in 2012, SlideShare features popular presentations for topics like technology, and it's a good way to gauge the popularity of trends like growth hacking, the Internet of things and the sharing economy. 


AngelList: AngelList is a community of startups and investors who make fund-raising efficient. AngelList is transforming how startups fundraise and has become a destination for startups, investors and syndicate fundings. The site showcases trending startups, jobs and syndicates on its homepage.


NuzzelNuzzel’s news gathering service aggregates news into personalized lists based on who is sharing links on Twitter and Facebook. They have interesting lists such as one for the top AngelList investors. 

 



Esteban Contreras

Esteban Contreras is the author of “Social State,” Director of Strategy at Sprinklr, and founder of Social Nerdia Consulting. Find him on Twitter @socialnerdia, or at his website, http://socialnerdia.com/socialstate/.

Esteban is part of The Opener, an exclusive, invite-only contributor network that will bring the best food, culture, and innovation writing to the pages of Coca-Cola Journey.