@andrewchen

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Reader question: What 5 blogs do you read regularly?

Q: What 5 blogs do you read regularly?
Posted by asack

A: I read all the same blogs as everyone else – Techcrunch, Venturebeat, Mashable, GigaOm, etc. :)

I think more interesting is probably the places where I get information that’s “proprietary” that a lot of other people don’t spend too much time looking through. I’ll give a couple examples here:

  • Talking to end users: I’m often recruiting users using Google Adwords, Facebook ads, MySpace messaging, or Craigslist in order to talk to them about how they use websites, what their day is like, what they are thinking about these days, etc. I’ve also gone out to odd places like Sacramento and Renton to talk to users that are substantially different than me
  • Perusing through “bottoms up” internet reports: Going back to my ad days, I like to look at a bunch of reports from comScore, Nielsen, Alexa, Quantcast, etc., and come through dozens of pages of websites. I enjoy trying out new domains, if I don’t recognize them, as well as looking them up on WHOIS, trying to figure out who the founders are, etc.
  • Creating queries for odd or unique terms: I have dozens of Google alerts set up for terms like “viral loop” or “viral coefficient” or “social gaming” or other key terms where if someone’s using it, I probably want to learn more about them or the topic
  • Talking to people in other industries: Sometimes, you can find analogies in other industries that apply back to your own – I’m often talking to folks in Finance to get their quantitative perspective. I also talk to folks in the creative industries, like design, or writing, etc., because they have something specific to add. And I enjoy hearing from people in the advertising industry, both traditional and interactive, because their world is so different from the consumer internet world, yet the issues clearly apply. Same for games.

 I think the worst thing you can do is to surround yourself with people who are too similar to you. It’s more fun to hang out with folks who are passionate about other things – just like the future-engineer kid who takes apart his dad’s toys and gets in trouble, I think you have to spend time dissecting the way other smart people think in order to develop the amateur psychology skills necessary to think about consumer behavior.

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