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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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How To Read a Newspaper Durable Link to this BLOG
People will laugh at me, but this is indeed the sign of the times.

This morning I spent USD 15.00 to learn how to read a newspaper.

Newspapers in America are the classic case of "information overload". They are so thick, with so many pages, and so many advertisements. It is so hard to find the information you need, and so hard to distinguish important stuff from trivial stuff. So, I had to do what I did -- pay someone to teach me how to survive the information overload.

The one hour program called "Smart Reader", was well worth it. It was conducted by Amanda Wardle of Birmingham Business Journal.

For me, the fascinating part was leaning how others consume the newspaper. Of course, we know that most men start reading from the sports page, but I didn't know the newspapers had indexes (just like the end of a book). Most still don't have table of contents, forcing you to skim through every page.

Personally, I never read or browse the weather, the horoscope or Dear Abby.

BTW, according to the teacher, the busy professionals of today are not supposed to read newspapers the old fashioned way -- you know sip a cut of coffee, petting your dog, and reading an article that you interests you before turning the page. We are supposed to skim though every page and cut the stories we want to read, and read them during the second pass though.

She also encouraged to reach out to the persons covered in the newspapers and tell them that you read about them in the local newspaper. I know this works wonders to build relationships from personal experience -- I remember everyone who calls me saying they saw me or read about me in the newspaper. It has something to do with sublime ego appeal.

Other tips I got were how to profit from the news stories by thinking about the impact and change a news story will bring about in the world or in your industry or your community. How it might affect my stocks, how it might affect my business etc.

I think everybody should take this course.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, June 19, 2008
Last Modified: 6/21/2008 12:16:21 AM

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