In today’s world of fast-paced breaking news, it can often times be difficult to keep up with everything that’s going on. Between Twitter, Facebook, news networks, email and RSS, there’s no shortage of places to find the latest in local and global news. But if you want a more targeted experience — one that includes smartphone alerts from your preferred news networks, emails with breaking news as it happens, and, of course, a healthy dose of Twitter-delivered news — we’ve got you covered.
Taking a look at the key places you would want breaking news delivered to — your phone, email inbox, RSS reader, or directly to your browser — the list below introduces four key ways you can use to keep up with breaking news in a way that suits your personal needs.
One of the easiest ways to keep up with breaking news online is to have it pushed directly to your phone. There are a ton of apps out there that make that easier than ever. No matter your preferred news source, you’re likely to find a native app that delivers breaking news updates as push notifications to your phone. Below is just a sample list of the most prominent mobile apps (Android, iPhone, Windows and Blackberry) that deliver news updates as push notifications:
If you’d rather not be bothered with notifications on your phone, you can get your breaking news updates delivered to your email inbox instead. Below is a sample list of news services that will deliver breaking news alerts directly to your inbox:
If you don’t want to limit yourself to one news service, you can always create custom breaking news alerts on any topic of your choice using Google or Yahoo Alerts — that way you’re ensuring that you’re getting lots of different angles to one story, rather than sticking to one, oftentimes biased, news network’s angle.
We’ve already extolled the virtues of Twitter as a key service for keeping up with the latest news. And when it comes to breaking news, Twitter is no different. You can use it on your phone, on the web, or in pretty much any way you prefer. On your phone, you can set up push notifications from specific users, so if your preferred news service doesn’t have a mobile app, or if its mobile app doesn’t include breaking news alerts, you can always opt to have their tweets pushed to your phone as they’re posted.
This will make for a rather noisy phone, depending on how often the Twitter account is updated. If they have a breaking-news-only account, that one might be your best bet.
So who can you follow on Twitter to keep up with the latest in news? Joshua Lockhart has put together a pretty comprehensive list of key accounts to follow on Twitter in his post on the best ways to follow the news on Twitter.
Web & Desktop
Want to keep the alerts in your browser? Some of these alerts can be delivered as RSS notifications instead. With RSS, you can deliver Twitter feeds, Google News Alerts (this feature is temporarily disabled according to Google but worth keeping an eye on to see if they’re going to bring it back in the near future) and more straight to your RSS feed, and check out the breaking news at your leisure. There are many ways to keep with your RSS feeds, the most popular of which in the wake of Google Reader is Feedly.
Of course, this doesn’t have the added advantage of notifying you as it happens. If you’d prefer to have some sort of web notification, you might want to consider a Chrome extension like RSS alert.
Chrome extensions themselves are another way to make sure that you’re keeping up with the latest news headlines. Be sure to check out Saikat’s list of 6 Chrome extensions for catching the latest news headlines.
Finally, if you’re like things to be out of your browser, but not quite on your phone, you can use these tools to set up desktop notifications for your email, Twitter, and other accounts. This way you can stay on top of breaking news even if your browser is closed and your phone is not in reach.
How do you keep up with breaking news? Does you preferred news network deliver alerts directly to you? Let us know in the comments.