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7 Ways to Track Internet’s Trends and Popular News

7 Ways to Track Internet’s Trends and Popular News
Target Trend

    It doesn’t matter if you are a news reporter, a blogger, or just a regular guy who want to find the trends around the Internet, you want to be productive and use as little time as possible to find what’s popular and new.

    For me, I want to stay on top of technology and software related news, and to tell you the truth – I wouldn’t want to spend more than a tick to get what I want to see, or find out if it is popular. I want to introduce seven ways of tracking trends and popular resources online.

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    Watch Alexa Stat. There are two visit points. Alexa Traffic details and Movers. Alexa Traffic details gives you access on web site traffic estimations based on Alexa’s users population. With the dynamically generated graph, You could compare up to five different sites on traffic. Alexa Movers provides you with a view on which sites gain the most traffic recently. It is a terrific way to track on sites which have just hit the upward traffic (which is what we call a trend on the Internet). If you are using Firefox, download SearchStatus. It’s an excellent extension with Alexa Ranking display plus other great information on the site.

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    Alexa ranking on Digg and Slashdot

      Track Technorati. It is a blogging search engine. “Does it do searches only?”, you ask. For trend watcher, they have three more things for you – a popular page which shows the popular videos, movies, news and books bloggers have written about; a tag page which displays the popular tags for the hour. It also could help you to track posts which bloggers have tagged; and third, if you take a look at the tag search result, you see a nice trend graph. Take Apple iPhone for example, let’s see how the trend goes at the moment:

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      Technorati Trend Graph

        Look at PageRank. Not as useful as other methods, but it shows you overtime how many external pages have been linked to the page you are on. PageRank depends on the volume of incoming links. Number of incoming links can be one of the ways to judge if the content is worthwhile at all. I recommend SearchStatus instead of Google Toolbar to get the PageRank info as SearchStatus is more lightweight with tons of features.

        Read Digg. It is great. Sometimes it gets news much faster than mainstream media and bloggers. But sometimes the news that hit frontpage are just plain useless for me. So subscribe or read a specific topic section.

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        Read Slashdot. I know, it is pretty old school. But they still feature some breaking news about the technical and technology industry.

        Read news aggregators. Instead of going to newspaper sites and read breaking news and trends, subscribe aggregators like Google News and Techmeme.

        Use your Feed Readers. Find several frequently updated sites with feeds. Subscribe their feed with your feed reader. Track them all at once. As this is your own selections, I recommend to keep down the number of subscriptions, or at least categorize your feed into two areas. A trend watching area which is an area you read often, and Others which is a folder with less important feeds. Keep the noise vs signal ratio low.

        Hope these seven ways will save you time on tracking trends and popular stuff online. Got any more tips? Comment them here or send them to tips at lifehack.org

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        Leon Ho

        Founder of Lifehack

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        Last Updated on November 12, 2020

        What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

        What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

        You have so many books waiting for your attention, but you just don’t have enough time! Don’t you wish you could read faster without compromising your knowledge intake? This is where a valuable learning technique comes to the rescue: speed reading.

        Speed reading is the top skill to learn in 2020. Read on to find out all about this amazing technique!

        What Is Speed Reading?

        On average, an adult can read somewhere between 200 to 300 words per minute. With speed reading skills, you can read much fasteraround 1500 words per minute.[1] Yes, that sounds impossible, but it’s true.

        In order to understand how this skill works, you first need to know how the reading process works inside a human’s brain.

        The Reading Process

        The first step is for the eyes to look at a word. This “fixation” on every word takes around 0.25 seconds.

        Next, you start moving your eyes to the following word. It takes 0.1 seconds for the brain to move from one word to the next. This is called “saccade.”

        Usually, you take in 4-5 words in your head, or a sentence, at once. After all the fixations and saccades, the brain goes over the entire phrase again in order to process the meaning. This takes around half a second.

        All in all, this means average people read 200 to 300 words in a minute.

        Speeding up the Process

        The concept of speed reading is to speed up this process by at least 5 times. Since the saccade period cannot be shortened any further, speed reading emphasizes quicker fixations.

        To accomplish this, scientists recommend that the reader skips the sub-vocalization: when the readers actually say the word in their mind, even when reading silently.

        Basically, speed reading is the technique of only seeing the words instead of speaking them silently.

        Do not confuse this with skimming. When a reader skims through a text, they skip the parts that their brain considers to be unnecessary. You may skip important information in this process, and skimming does not allow the brain to retain what has been read.

        Why Speed Read?

        Speed reading is not just quick, but it’s also effective. This skill saves a lot of of time without sacrificing information.

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        Also, it has been proven to improve memory. The brain’s performance improves during speed reading, which allows the reader to remember more information than before[2].

        Since speed reading stabilizes the brain, the information is processed faster and more efficiently.

        Believe it or not, this technique leads to improved focus, too. As the brain receives a lot of information during speed reading, there is far less chance of distraction. The brain focuses solely on the job at hand.

        Since the brain is, after all, a muscle, the process of speed reading acts as an exercise. Just like the rest of your muscles, your brain needs exercise to grow stronger, too.

        A focused brain means improved logical thinking. As your brain gets used to receiving and organizing so much information so quickly, your thinking process will become faster. As soon as a problem is thrown at you, your brain will quickly put two and two together. You will be able to retrieve stored information, figure out correlations, and come up with new solutions, all within seconds!

        Still not convinced? Read 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Speed Reading

        Greater Benefits

        With a healthier brain, you can expect better things in other parts of your life, too. A boost in self-esteem is just one of them.

        As you begin to understand information at a faster pace, you will also begin to figure out more opportunities all around you.

        With the ability to deeply understand information in a shorter period of time, your confidence levels will quickly grow.

        Moreover, all the aforementioned benefits will relieve you of stress. With all these advantages, your emotional well-being will be healthier than ever. You’ll feel less stress since your brain will learn to tackle problems efficiently. Speed reading will lead to a relaxed, tension-free lifestyle!

        How to Learn to Speed Read

        Speed reading is a superpower. Fortunately, unlike other superpowers, this one can be learned!

        There are different techniques that can be used to master this skill. Opt for the one that best suits your learning style.

        1. The Pointer Method

        The person who is credited for popularizing speed reading, Evelyn Wood, came up with the pointer method. It is a simple technique in which the reader uses their index finger to slide across the text that they’re reading.

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        As the finger moves, the brain coherently moves along with it. It is an effective technique to keep the eyes focused where the finger goes without causing any distraction.

        Readers have a tendency to back-skip. The pointer method prevents this from happening, thereby saving at least half the reading time.

        2. The Scanning Method

        In this technique, the reader’s eyes move along one part of the page only. This can be the left or right side of the text but is usually the center since that is the most convenient.

        Instead of pacing through the entire text from left to right, the vision shifts from top to bottom.

        This method involves fixation on keywords, such as names, figures, or other specific terms. By doing so, the saccade time is minimized.

        3. Perceptual Expansion

        Generally, a reader focuses on one word at a time. This technique, on the other hand, encourages the brain to read a chunk of words together. In doing so, this method increases the reader’s peripheral vision.

        Here’s the thing: even though the fixation time remains the same with perceptual expansion, the number of words that the eyes fixate on increases.

        Basically, the brain receives 5 times more information within the same amount of time.

        This technique is the hardest to master and takes the most time to learn. You’ll need help from speed reading tools in order to practice the perceptual expansion method.

        However, once you master it, this technique will offer you the fastest reading pace with the maximum knowledge intake.

        The Best Speed Reading Apps

        The easiest tool to aid any process in any part of life these days is your smartphone.

        You can use mobile applications to learn speed reading on the go. It has been proven that regularly practicing speed reading is the fastest way to learn this skill.[3]

        Here are a few great options to look into:

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        1. Reedy

        If you own an Android smartphone, you can download Reedy to your mobile. Otherwise, get the Chrome extension on your laptop to enjoy speed reading with Reedy.

        This app trains readers to read faster by displaying words one by one on the screen. Instead of having to go through lines or long texts, Reedy prepares the user to focus on one word at a time.

        Although this isn’t an effective method to learn speed reading long texts, it is a great way to start.

        2. ReadMe!

        Whether you’re an android or iOS user, you can take advantage of the ReadMe! application. This app even comes with some e-book options to practice speed reading on.

        Start by choosing your desired font size, color, layout, etc. Other than that, there are different reading modes for the user to choose from.

         

        If you want to practice reading sentence by sentence or in short paragraphs, you can choose the focused reading mode.

        The beeline reader mode changes the color of the text to guide the eye to read from the beginning to the end at a certain pace.

        Lastly, there is the spritz mode in which the app focuses on chunks of words at once. This controls the reader’s peripheral vision. However, this mode is not fully available in the free version of the app.

        3. Spreeder

        Spreeder is available on both iOS and Android. However, users may also gain benefits from Spreeder’s website. This application lets the reader paste in any text that they would like to speed read.

        Starting off at a rather low speed, the app flashes words one by one. Gradually, as the user becomes more comfortable, the speed increases.

        Slowly, the user is trained to speed read without having to skip any words.

        This app is different from the rest because it tracks the user’s reading improvements, recording the overall reading time and speed.

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        The Controversy Surrounding Speed Reading

        Truthfully, speed reading does sound too good to be true. It’s hard to believe that it is humanly possible to attain such a fast pace without compromising the quality of information you receive.

        Perhaps as a result, there are people who do not trust the process of speed reading. They believe that when you read through a text at such a high speed, speed readers cannot develop good comprehension.

        It is true that speed reading will be of no use if you do not understand the text you’re reading, no matter how quickly you did it.

        Similarly, if you were to read slowly and still not retain or understand the information you read, that would be useless, too.

        However, there are a few factors to consider here. When reading at a normal pace, there is enough time in between every step of the process for the brain to get distracted.

        Conversely, speed reading leaves behind no time for the brain to focus on something else. It is unlike skimming. No part of the text is skipped, which means that the brain receives every single bit of information.

        If you’re still not convinced, take a look at this video to learn about reading faster:

        Conclusion

        Keeping all of this in mind, speed reading cannot be labeled a hoax or a failure. Science has backed up this technique, and numerous readers have been using this skill to improve their learning ability and reading comprehension, even when reading for pleasure.

        At the end of the day, it is your decision whether or not you want to trust this process.

        However, if you decide to take advantage of the opportunities speed reading provides, you will find a world of possibilities opening up to you.

        We live in a fast-paced world. Consuming information faster will help you keep up with that pace and find further success.

        More on How to Read Faster

        Featured photo credit: Blaz Photo via unsplash.com

        Reference

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