Algorithms rather than editors decide my morning reading

Some years ago the computer intruded on my early morning routine. No longer did I open the door for the morning paper. My breakfast accompaniment went from newsprint to digital pixels. E-mail tugged my attention, followed by a sweep of favorite Web sites, though I often forgot which sites I favored. My disorganized nature overwhelmed any attempts at bookmarking as I added hundreds of scattered resources to the list. A casual mention by a friend in 2005, “I’ll add it to my Bloglines”, changed the way I used the Internet.

Sure, a few years later I changed to Google Reader but it worked the same, but only more reliably. And nothing changed until well after I got an iPad. I had been slow to take up Facebook and Twitter, which help me share my life online and learn about others. For myself, social networking didn’t transform my use of the digital world. Neither did the iPad until I explored more apps.

Once again, the way I used the Internet changed as I opened up Flipboard and Zite. Google Reader dropped from my daily regimen though, like Facebook and Twitter, those RSS feeds play a large role in the articles that these more visually appealing aggregators offer up to me. Algorithms rather than editors decide my morning reading.

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