Keeping up with the zeitgeist

On the State of the World 2007 discussion on the WELL, there is a very interesting discussion that started with a question from Jamais Cascio to Bruce Sterling about "what you regularly read to keep up with the zeitgeist".

I used to have "sources." I can't say I do that much any more. These days it seems to be mostly about Sphere, Technorati, Feedster, Digg, Reddit and Google. I've joined the people and machines who are boiling it all down to an insidious algorithmic flow of liquid chunksof deep-linked micromedia. And even below that, it's tags. I use search engines to look methodically for words. Neologisms, commonly. I learn a lot from using machines to track jargon. (...) I spend a lot of my time doing the work that editors and publishers used to do: trying to invest the slushpile with some credibility. "I found this stuff pronto: but is it all a pack of lies?"

That's where it helps to have friends: but even if you've got 'em, on the Net they tend to agglomerate into echo-chambers and whispering campaigns. The Internet is really coming into its own now, and it's scary how intrinsically different it is from previous forms of media. The deeper you dig into what it's really good at, the more alien it becomes.

Why do I blog this? it's always interesting to know how people keep track of stuff and make sense of the word, whatever lifehacks and strategies are in place.