Don’t be the Last to Know: How to Keep up with Emerging Technology

By | Posted April 30th, 2013

The growing accessibility of the Internet and technology makes a profound impact on the way we interact with people, get our news, and do business. From traditional news outlets, to social media, to blogs like the one here at MetroFax, people get an increasing amount of their news online. This explosion isn’t without competition. Our information-driven world seems to demand new technology every minute. New platforms, hardware, and hacks are developing daily to improve the way we handle data, information, and our lives.

How do you keep up? It’s pretty simple: follow the buzz. Cultivate news-breakers in the tech industry on Twitter. Keeping an eye on the technology sections of news websites may keep you informed, but finding the blogs that focus exclusively on technology will keep you up to speed on each new development in the industry.

How to Keep up with Emerging Technology(Image Credit: Yuri Arcurs)

TechCrunch, Engadget, Verge, The Next Web, Mashable!, and MacRumors are just a few examples of the invaluable breaking news and insight in the tech world, from the perspective of the tech world. Mashable!, for example, often does livestreams of big announcements from Facebook, Google, and other major technology and software companies. But just a brief glance at these frequently-updated blogs puts a lot of posts (hundreds a week) in front of you. It’s a lot of information to digest, and it can quickly get out of hand.

Enter Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds. Not unlike email subscriptions, RSS feeds take new content and send it to you via aggregating software. These readers can be either downloaded or web-based. And that’s just about as complicated as it gets: choose your reader and then subscribe to what you want to read.

The Old Reader, Feedly, and Pulse are some examples of RSS readers. Pulse is a more colorful and visual reader, whereas The Old Reader interface is more text-based. Feedly is somewhere in the middle, depending on your settings.

You can connect through an email account, or via Facebook in Pulse. Adding an RSS subscription is as simple as hitting the, “add subscription” button and typing in the blog name or URL or clicking the RSS feed button directly on the site. With the latter method, keep in mind you may have to add the blog manually, if the RSS button on the website isn’t specific to your reader. Feedly will sometimes redirect to the blog’s landing page on their platform.

The freshest technology buzz often springs up in the real world first: at technology conferences. Developments in Twitter, Facebook, and Google might not seem like a big deal to your business, but they could fundamentally change how people find and interact with your business. And new technology like Twitter, which kicked off at South by Southwest, is apt to pop up over an information-packed weekend.

You don’t have to go out and buy a ticket to every major technology conference, thanks to things like blogging and Twitter. Recaps and liveblogs for many presentations will be available the day of or following the speaker’s closing remarks, and live-tweeting is common.

On the subject of Twitter, another great place to catch breaking technology developments is from the industry itself. Handles like @chrismessina, a Google+ user experience designer and the creator of the Twitter hashtag, @timoreilly, who publishes Make Magazine and writes technology instruction manuals and textbooks, and @davewiner, a Harvard research fellow who essentially invented RSS, blogs, and podcasts (Winer has also contributed to Wired and often tweets industry news and commentary).

Other good tech people to follow on Twitter are @asymco, who posts a lot of mobile figures for Samsung, Google, and Apple, @SammyWalrusIV, an anonymous Apple employee who tweets insider info, and @JonErlichman, the Senior West Coast Technology Correspondent for Bloomberg. If you follow at least a couple of these guys, and pay attention to whom they tweet and re-tweet, you can probably find other great sources of news, tips, and insights on Twitter.

Keeping up with rapidly-evolving technology and trends isn’t difficult: following the right blogs and people for just an hour of your day can keep you with, if not ahead of, the game.