Getting the News — Khoi Vinh

(This post is the second in’s ongoing series, “Getting the News.” In our efforts to understand everything about social news, we’re reaching out to writers and thinkers we like to ask them how they get their daily news. Read the first post here. See all of the posts here.)

This week we’re pleased to feature Khoi Vinh (@khoi), former design director at, blogger at and co-founder of Mixel. Mixel is the world’s first social collage app, designed to connect people through media in a totally new (and fun!) way. Given his expertise on the intersection between social media and design, we thought we’d ask him about his news habits.

Describe how you get news throughout the day. What’s the first thing you check when you wake up?

I’m a dedicated Google Reader user. I start off in the morning checking my favorite feeds on GR using the awesome Reeder app for iPad. Over the course of the day I read GR directly in the browser. I’ll also graze Twitter frequently, and pick up the items that I find interesting as they arise. In the evening I will skim I don’t visit a lot of news sites.

I also listen to NPR every morning, and get the majority of my general news from there.

What publications or news sources do you read and trust? How frequently do you visit them throughout the day? is pretty much the only one destination site that I return to regularly, and then usually only in the morning or the evening. The rest of my news consumption is a combination of professional reading — TechCrunch, All Things D, Hacker News, etc. — and recreational reading on topics I enjoy, like film, art, sports, comics, etc.

What platforms do you read/get content on?

iPad, iPhone, podcasts, desktop browsers. Email alerts for a few key topics that I want to stay on top of, but no mobile alerts or anything.

Are you into reading content on your iPhone or tablet, or do you still remember how to unfold a newspaper?

I used to read the paper when I was working at The New York Times, and I genuinely enjoyed it, but when I left I realized I didn’t have to do that any more and found that I don’t really miss it.

Do you ever watch television news programs?

Never. We don’t have cable at home, but even if we did, I find the news networks — Fox News obviously, but CNN as well, to be unbearably phony.

What was the last great article you read? How did you find out about it? Is this your typical pattern?

The best articles I read are almost always from The New York Times. The rest of the stuff I consume is just informational; the Times offers insight.

Is anything missing from your news consumption pattern now or in the tools/sites that you use? Anything you wish you had?

I wish I had a mobile solution that went beyond just peppering me with updates. I would like to keep up with some key stories without being constantly interrupted with alerts. I don’t feel that I need to be connected to a story nonstop, but at the same time I would like to be able to check in to a news story from time to time while on the road. None of the mobile apps right now make that easy.

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