Newsletters and staying informed

By ABIGAIL L. GARNER

When I came to the University of Miami, all I knew about this town was that it had a lot of Cuban influences, beautiful weather and professional sports teams. I did not know where was cool to eat, what were considered okay areas of town, or where to shop.

I, as I am sure most people new to a city will do, went exploring. I figured some things out, but also during my exploration I did some exploring on the Internet. What I found is that there are several newsletters that you can belong to and receive information about the city. My favorite has been dailycandy.com, which keeps me posted on fashion, music and general pop culture of South Florida.

After having great success with the dailycandy newsletter, I realized that newsletters are a great way to be in the know and get information before everyone else. There are literally thousands of newsletters that people can apply to ranging on all sorts of topics. If you are a beat reporter, this is a great way to get an inside scoop on an event that is going on or even to find sources (somebody has to write that newsletter). The best part is that all the exploring you might be doing into a subject will arrive in your inbox so it can be found at the convenience of your desktop or smartphone.

Visiting newsletteraccess.com will give you a list of topics to choose from and then countless subcategories of newsletters. This is a great way to know what is going on in another city, if you are constantly between two places, or to learn information about smaller, marginal groups or organizations.  Be careful, though, some of these you have to pay for.

Celebrities are also getting into this. Gwyneth Paltrow puts out GOOP on a regular basis and Twitter has revolutionized our ability to get instant updates. By going to your favorite webpages and signing up for weekly e-mail updates or following your favorite topics on Twitter, there is no reason why you can’t always be one of the first to spot a trend. Even with sports there are instant updates being sent to your phone all of the time. Making the most of these newsletters and social applications can really help open your eyes to other places and show you things you may not have considered before. So find your interests and start signing up!

Below are some of my favorite newsletters:

Weekly Wire—all students get this just by being part of the School of Communication (don’t you learn a lot each week? If not, try reading it!)

Books and Books—a local Miami book chain that is constantly having events.

DailyCandy—The best of pop culture. You can sign up for multiple cities.

GOOP—I may not be Gwyneth Paltrow but I can pretend to be by keeping up with her newsletter.

Abercrombie and Kent—I at the very least get the feeling of exotic countries and dangerous adventures by keeping up with their travel webpage and constantly getting updates from their site.

Religion Dispatches—literally a weekly or daily dispatch on religion. It is my second major and, by knowing whats going on, I’m sometimes able to impress my professors. Always a plus.

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