I wrote a post a couple of years ago about finding fresh voices.

It was all about how you need new perspectives to be creative.

I’m taking a Coursera class right now on Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms. It’s a fascinating look at Microsoft, and Google, and net neutrality, the rise of smartphones, streaming music, and more. Will it help me in my business today? Maybe not–but it will help me think through what comes next.

When my head stops spinning, I’ll share some takeaways.

We live in echo chambers.

An echo chamber

Social media has opened up the world. It lets us talk to people everywhere, at any time. But we too often talk to people who share our interests, our points of view, and our world views. I interact with a lot of marketing people, business people, and sports people. Guess what’s in my stream? Marketing links. Business links. Sports links.

This is okay–up to a point.

We need to create bigger fishbowls.

Watching a fishbowl from outside

We each live in a fishbowl.

Your pet fish’s universe is–literally–a bowl.

The average butterfly lives for a month.

Humans are mostly confined to Planet Earth.

I don’t typically read marketing blogs or business blogs. These are exceptions. Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation blog is focused on the future of media. Steve King’s Small Business Labs blog is focused on the data that reveals the shifting ways we work. “Platform” blogs–from Google, Buffer, Twitter, and others–offer a nice blend of practical tips and fresh insights.

Mostly I read other stuff.

Here are my newest three sources of great content:

  • MediaRedef is a curated daily mix of great articles on a wide range of topics. The latest issue, for example, has a story on the container ship tourism industry, a history of jazz and blues in Detroit, a health tech piece, and a lot more. It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole. I try to pick 1-2 to read each day–including something I can share.
  • ReadThisThing is one story a day. Today’s is about pigeons. (No, I haven’t read it.) But there have been stories on the mystery of two men in wetsuits who washed up on shores in two different countries, on global warming, and on how to save the rhinos.
  • Charged is a weekly look at what’s new in the tech world. It’s a mix of stories you might know a little bit about and things you probably should know a little bit more about.

These are fresh voices that make my fishbowl a little bigger. What are you reading now?

Echo chamber photo by Skittledog; fishbowl photo by Matt Biddulph. Feature photo by HKoppdelaney.