M.O.
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lifestyle PR + digital media

Useful Internet Time™ and our top websites to spend it on

January 16, 2020

Why does routine and habit get such a bad wrap? Tendencies toward predictability get labeled boring and predictable and monotonous. 

As a PR and Social Media agency, we have always identified as “Type A in a good way”—and a big part of our Type A tendencies is that we depend on our routines to stay organized. Or at least I do - Kate MM here, hey!

Establishing and sticking to a routine continues to be a journey. If we’re being honest, the biggest challenge to establishing a useful routine for me is avoiding 20 solid minutes of Instagram scrolling upon wakeup. But, if I’ve dodged the Instagram landmines and have made a deeply fundamental, necessary, and well-deserved cup of coffee, my next morning must-do is what I call Useful Internet Time™. 

Useful Internet Time is not scrolling Facebook—which is often the exact opposite of useful—or looking at home design websites. It is not solely aimed at increasing productivity. Instead, Useful Internet Time is time spent reading things online that fuel ideas related to work or that perpetuate critical, creative thinking.

For me, that means checking a handful of outlets for reading that directly informs the work we do at Sprocket. Much of it is related specifically to PR and Social Media; often it’s tangentially related and could inspire out-of-the-box client work. 

But as a motivational poster somewhere says: inspiration can come from anywhere, and so I also make a habit of reading non-marketing outlets, too. 

What are my morning must-reads? Read on.

  • Spin Sucks. Duh! Gini Deitreich and co. write some of the best content related to PR, Social Media, marketing, data, measurement, agency life, content creation...I’m constantly inspired and impressed by the way the Spin Sucks team thinks about our industry, and how it moves us all forward.
  • Man Repeller. Despite the fact that the blog-turned-media empire got its start in the fashion world, I love the way the MR staff thinks about life and living writ large. There is plenty of fashion talk but also lots of good stuff on consumerism and personality or on the power of distraction. MR makes me LOL at my desk, but also think from new angles.  
  • Crooked.com. Political junkie here, hello! The news is a whole mess these days, and being informed helps me feel some modicum of control. Crooked.com is very much for those of us who are left-leaning; if that’s not you, I’d suggest something else—but, as someone who believes that a well-informed populace is key to a functioning democracy, I would definitely suggest/beg that your Useful Internet Time includes some news. 
  • Recode Decode. This podcast by veteran tech reporter Kara Swisher features interviews with people who work and exist in the tech industry. Often the interviews are tied to the ways social media impacts our lives—always important for marketers—but often touch on topics that are personal, too. 

Do you practice Useful Internet Time? Where do you spend it?