5 Tools to Discover and Consume Content like a Champ

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A Guest Post By Harrison Kratz

Being a communications professional in the digital age, it is essential to keep up with the latest trends and news in our industry. With so many different sources and stories that would make your head spin (similar to trying to pick a place to eat in New York City), it is difficult to figure out a strategy to avoid content overload while staying ahead of the game.

Here are five mobile and web apps that I recommend (some you may already know) to help you discover and consume content that will keep you calm while looking like an expert.


Zite may be my favorite iPad app. Also available on the iPhone, Zite is a personal magazine that pulls in your preferences to deliver you up-to-date content from the web that is relevant to you. In addition, you can rate the content as you go to let Zite know what content you would like to be seeing. Not to mention, the layout and ease of sharing on your social networks is near perfect.

If you want to save an article for later, you can also store it or clip to Evernote so you can enjoy the content on your time. This is the best app for daily content discovery.

Stumble Upon

Both an app and website, I find Stumble Upon interesting because while it drives so much traffic to sites, you really hear communications professionals talk about it. Stumble Upon can be quite addicting and fun as you can spend hours finding new content around the web based on the categories you select. All of the content may not be new in terms of chronology but you’re always bound to learn something new while stumblin’.


Pulse and Flipboard are content discovery apps like Zite that are available both on phones and tablets. Both apps are terrific and are unqiue because they can also create sections of content out of what is being shared on your social network. While that content may sometimes be redundant, the more sources of content the better. Flipboard is easily the most popular of the two and has a cleaner layout, but both are great and it’s ultimately a matter of preference.


It will be interesting to see the future of Summify since Twitter recently acquired them, but I couldn’t leave them off this list. Summify pulls in the most shared content from your networks and can be viewed online, on your phone, or via email. No matter what the platform, Summify is great way to be in the middle of the discussions that are going on around your network that day.


Instapaper isn’t great for content discovery and does cost $4.99, but it is a great content consumption app. Instapaper allows you to store the articles that interest you on the Internet and on many of your news apps so you can read them later. For those that are always on the go or don’t have too much time to read during the work day, this bookmarking tool can be your best friend. Especially since, Instapaper allows you to read the articles without an Internet or cell connection

What are your favorite content tools? Do you have any tips on avoiding content overload while staying up to date on what’s happening?

Bio: Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the accredited online mba program offered through the University of North Carolina. Harrison also sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive.


3 Responses to " 5 Tools to Discover and Consume Content like a Champ "

  1. This is a good round up, but I have a few suggestions. First, you might want to remove Summify. Almost two months ago, Summify said “We will keep the email summaries for a few more weeks, but at some point we will shut down the current Summify product.”

    Second, you might want to replace Summify with another app: Prismatic (http://getprismatic.com). It’s similar to Zite, but it’s a web app, so it is available on PCs and Macs as well as tablets and phones. It doesn’t work very well with touch interfaces, though, so I only recommend it for use on Macs and PCs. Although I love the experience of reading news on the iPad, I end up doing most of my news reading on my laptop, so I need something like Zite that’s available on Windows.

    Prismatic came out just three weeks ago, so it’s still a little rough around the edges, but in that time, I have gone from mostly using Zite to mostly using Prismatic. For one, Prismatic is meant to be used more than Zite is. Zite is meant to be checked once or twice a day. They don’t update stories very often. There are only a few stories to read each day.

    Prismatic is meant to be checked throughout the day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t yet offer a daily digest of the day’s most important news, so it’s not great for people who check news less often. That would be an easy feature to add, though, so I expect they will add it.

    I also have a suggestion for following niche topics that none of the products you listed can cover: Trapit (http://trap.it). Trapit is a lot like Zite: it allows you to follow your favorite topics, then it learns from your feedback. The difference is, it allows you to follow any topic. It’s not as good for general news reading. It’s better for occasionally checking for news on topics for which there isn’t much news.

    I wrote a post similar to yours, but focused solely on discovery , on my blog here: http://colemanfoley.com/post/18856605707/breaking-down-personalized-news-readers

    Finally, why did you choose Instapaper for consumption instead of Read It Later? Read it Later has a pretty good free version, while Instapaper has no free version at all. Otherwise, they are pretty similar.

  2. Great information Colin. I appreciate you sharing the additional suggestions! Have a great weekend.

  3. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the information! I had never heard of Zite, but after reading your post and downloading it, its probably one of my favorite apps as well! Thanks again.

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