In today’s market, it’s more important than ever for innovators and startups to keep up with the latest tech happenings. But in today’s economy, that can be costly.
Subscribing to publications, attending conferences, and buying books or watching the news are all great ways to stay current, but what can you do on a tighter budget?
Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Read free publications.
You don’t have to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal—there are plenty of free sites that provide accurate, comprehensive, up-to-the-minute coverage of the tech world. Here are a few to keep up with.
CNet covers much more than just tech, but with product reviews and first looks written by international experts, it’s a good way to stay up-to-date on the latest product innovations. Check out the Tech section for the latest news from the technology sector.
If you’re a science fiction nerd, Gizmodo is for you: this online publication covers all aspects of tech: news, products, business, and more. Common topics include AI, cryptocurrency, transportation, security, gaming, and online shopping. When you’re ready for something else, the iO9 section of the website covers science fiction and futurism-related news.
TechCrunch reports on the business of technology: covering the startup world, venture capital funding, and all things Silicon Valley. For daily news coverage, you can subscribe to the TechCrunch newsletter or follow the company’s Twitter account @TechCrunch.
2. Follow tech news on Twitter
Unless you’re one of the people now paying for Twitter Blue, it should cost you nothing to surf the bird platform. And if you’re already on Twitter anyway, you can simply add a few tech sources to your feed to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings. Here are a few accounts to get you started.
Even if you don’t subscribe to the WSJ, you can get a good idea of what’s going on in the tech world simply by following their tech feed on Twitter. If there’s a headline that interests you but you’re having trouble getting around the paywall, you can always google it to find other articles on the same subject that you can read for free.
The things Mashable tweets aren’t always need-to-know, but if you enjoy learning about fun innovations like robot dogs, shark drones, and chainless bikes, this could be the tech feed for you.
GigaOm provides insights on how businesses can better use technology. While it’s less of a news coverage feed, it often includes valuable data and best practices for technology usage.
3. Attend tech meetups
While you may not be able to afford the most popular tech conferences like South by Southwest and CES, there are plenty of free or low-priced tech meetups happening all over the world. These events are a great way to discuss current tech happenings with people in your field, all while networking with startups and professionals.
If you’re interested in a certain topic, like cybersecurity, you might search for a local cybersecurity meetup in your town or city. You’ll have more luck with niche meetups in more populated areas, but even in a small town, you never know what you might find.
4. Join online communities
Then again, sometimes you don’t have to go anywhere to find like-minded people. If you’re interested in discussing tech topics on a regular basis, you might try joining an online community on Twitter, Discord, or Reddit. If you’re a software developer, try joining a forum like GitHub, Stack Overflow, or HackerNews.
5. Listen to podcasts.
Podcasts are a great way to get your daily news coverage: not only are they free, you can listen to them while driving to work, the gym, or the grocery store; while taking your dog for a walk; or while making dinner. Here are a few of the hottest tech podcasts to listen to right now:
- Techmeme Home
Techmeme Home is a podcast for busy people. Every day, it condenses the most important tech news of the last 24 hours into a 15-minute episode you can listen to on your commute.
- The a16z Podcast
If you’re interested in innovation and the modern world, you can’t do much better than this podcast, which covers the intersection of ideas, technology, and modern life.
- HBR IdeaCast
This podcast by the Harvard Business Review looks at tech innovation in business and the workplace. With a variety of guests, topics, and even hosts, it’s always an interesting listen.
It may be true that technology is changing at an ever-increasing pace, but there are plenty of ways to stay on top of what’s happening without spending big bucks on conferences or long hours in front of your news feed. You just have to innovate—something most techies are pros at anyway!