Melody Kramer

People Not In News Commenting On The News: Meet Ellen

15 Dec 2014 by melodyjoykramer

Meet Ellen Chisa. She’s currently a business student at Harvard, which she says leaves her with a lot of time to read about interesting businesses but far less time to read things she wants to. In January, she’s heading to Indonesia for a month to work at a cereal company. She teaches product management classes, grew up in Michigan, and has a cat named Gu. In her own words, “Personally… I’m super introverted. I’m happier reading and writing than I am interacting with people – and I’ve finally figured out that ideally I want to work for 4-5 hours, talk to someone for an hour or two, and repeat. It’s hard to make that work at business school!

Ellen, who tweets @ellenchisa, was kind enough to answer some questions about how she gets her news. If you don’t work in news and would like to participate, please let me know. To read how other people get their news, click here.

1. How do you get your news?

The Skimm.  At one point I realized I got *no* normal news, and this was the quickest summary I could find, and it was new at the time. I just like signing up for new news. Fear of missing out.

Today in Tabs! The other 50 Tinyletters I get as a result of my “friends” are relegated into my newsletters tab (742 unread). Tabs is the only one that’s still allowed in my inbox, though, and I read it every day.

Twitter. I’m generally pretty happy with the people I follow. They do a good job of keeping me up on news. It runs the gamut from actual articles from the New York Times or Wall Street Journal to private blogs on specific topics.

For Tech news: Stratechery. I’m pretty sure this is the only news I actually pay for. It’s $10 a month and extremely thoughtful – rather than just “so and so bought whoever” it’s an actual thoughtful analysis.

2. Please send me a gif or video that captures your attention span.

(Steve Ballmer cake gif) I almost never watch videos, I get bored halfway through (and permanently leave my laptop on mute).

3. How do you take your coffee?

Lately, black. It depends a lot on: who I’m drinking the coffee with, how good the coffee is, and how hot the coffee is.

4. Who’s doing it right in news?

I have to go with Ben Thompson from Stratechery again. I really like the high-quality specific vertical. I also keep wanting to subscribe to The Information, but it’d be $399/year, which is a bit steep given I’m back in school.

5. What’s the first news event that you remember?

This is embarrassing, but I don’t really remember. I think probably something about the auto companies. I grew up in Detroit and I remember being shocked to learn that not every paper covers Ford, GM, and Chrysler every day. I also remember going to the news station in elementary school and getting to pretend I was the weatherperson.

6. What was the best thing that happened to you this week?

It hasn’t happened quite yet, but I’ve spent all week looking forward to this evening. I’m going to a curator talk on the creation of the Goya exhibit at the MFA. Last week I went to explore the exhibit on my own time, and I’m looking forward to hearing about the decisions they made while putting it together! I often like seeing how things are made more than I like seeing the output.

7. What do you absolutely hate about the news?

It feels transient. Something happens, I get an update, and then it’s gone. I feel like I almost never understand the resolution – it’s just like “oh it’s news!” followed by a slow fade to nothing.

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