What publications give you an advantage in your line of work?
February 17, 2013 1:01 PM   Subscribe

What publications give solid advantages in which lines of work when read regularly? A few examples might be McKinsey when read by HR managers, A List Apart when read by designers, Hacker News when read by programmers, and Poynter when read by journalists. What else is there in these fields and in others that puts a person ahead?
posted by michaelh to Work & Money (16 answers total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
I read StreetFight every day for the dirt on Hyperlocal.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:05 PM on February 17, 2013

Could you expand on this question further? How do you distinguish the listed examples from other trade publications? For example, if you are looking for things more like Hacker News than Dr. Dobb's, or more like Poynter than the Columbia Journalism Review, how do you distinguish them? If you don't, then how is this question different from asking for a list of trade publications?
posted by grouse at 1:12 PM on February 17, 2013

MediaPost is great for advertising and marketing.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:14 PM on February 17, 2013

This is what "the trades" are all about, for the entertainment industry. That's mostly Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, though there are probably others and some more specialized publications for people who do specific stuff (BackStage if you're an actor, for example). There's also Deadline Hollywood, which is really more of a blog that covers the entertainment industry beat and sometimes get Drudge-style "scoops".
posted by Sara C. at 1:24 PM on February 17, 2013

Response by poster: Good point, grouse. It'd probably be helpful to explain how the pub creates the advantage. Some publications like Potomac's link are more obvious because the alternative is probably to read nothing that specific, but for more general lines of work, there are a lot of competing publications and not all are equally good.

For example, I think the quality of technical articles and timeliness of new announcements are both better on Hacker News than Dr. Dobb's, and because I read Hacker News I'm used to using a lot of technologies and practices before most people I know, and that's gotten me work I wouldn't have gotten. But, I think some of my colleagues at a large area medical software company would make a good case for reading Dr. Dobb's and being promoted faster because of it, and Hacker News would be more noise for them and possibly encourage some distracting resentment of corporate software development.
posted by michaelh at 1:24 PM on February 17, 2013

These publications don't put you ahead; they give you a common language with which to speak with your peers. They're full of bad ideas that are poorly researched, but no-one cares because that's not the point.

It's like talking about what happened last night on American Idol with your coworkers.
posted by Yowser at 1:29 PM on February 17, 2013 [10 favorites]

New England Journal for medicine and healthcare; Health Affairs for health policy.
posted by teragram at 1:40 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Obviously there are millions of journals in the sciences, but when a real article gets attention in Popular Science or Discover, or even the science pages of major papers like NYT, it's a marker of something laymen would find cool, easily interpretable, and/or really applicable. It's debatable whether that's a good thing or not, as Yowser mentions.
posted by supercres at 1:57 PM on February 17, 2013

Stack overflow
posted by mattoxic at 3:24 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

For tech stuff in entertainment, Studio Daily.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:20 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

newscientist.com for science
soundonsound for music production
posted by Lanark at 4:45 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

New Scientist is a news magazine and a somewhat sensationalist one at that. Reading it absolutely does not give a working scientist a career advantage (although it can be fun in it's own right). I'd argue that even reading Science and Nature barely counts these days, although publishing in them certainly does, because the articles are so general and news-oriented.

There are peer reviewed journals I keep up with because of my field (e.g. Oncogene, Nature Reviews Cancer) and that has made me look good at labmeetings etc. But which ones to read varies pretty widely depending on what kind of research you do. And even then I get more out of a few well set up google scholar alerts.
posted by shelleycat at 12:37 AM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Anyone else? Thanks for the answers so far but I think the answers have barely begun to emerge out of their riddle wrapped in a burrito wrapped in tinfoil. Surely MetaFilter has more to say.
posted by michaelh at 11:27 AM on March 1, 2013

I'd argue that even reading Science and Nature barely counts these days

I think that's field dependent. Both those journals have published articles in the environmental sciences the last year or two that have had major influences on the funding bodies I deal with, and the government and industrial agendas that arise out of the research. I'd further add PNAS to that list, as well. PLOSOne has the occasional paper, but it's not generally that important to follow.

Beyond that, there are about a dozen higher impact journals I follow, though with the impending demise of Google Reader, I'm not certain how I'm going to manage that as easily.
posted by bonehead at 7:54 AM on March 18, 2013

I also find Eurekalert pretty useful, as well as Nature News. Ars Technica has pretty good science reporting too.
posted by bonehead at 7:56 AM on March 18, 2013

The Center for the Future of Museums blog and its newsletter, Dispatches, is absolutely crucial for gathering ideas on the leading edge. The more traditional must-read is the American Alliance of Museums' Museum Magazine, but I can't say it gives you an advantage because everyone reads it. I also like Curator which publishes some good stuff but is not so widely read. Museum 2.0 is a really influential blog, as are Thinking About Museums (though it's been quieter lately for job-demand reasons), The Uncatalogued Museum, and ExhibiTricks.

What honestly gives me an advantage in my field is reading a lot of stuff from outside my field, because museums need to expand on their audience, fundamentally change to connect better with their constituent communities. So anything that helps me know what potential constituents are interested in helps me represent that better. MetaFilter actually helps. This is Colossal helps. The New York Times helps, and a lot of other general-interest media like that - women's magazines, arts and culture stuff. Locally based media is absolutely required, or I'd have such a poor feel for the community interests. Demographic and planning trends and community futurecast stuff is also helpful - Atlantic Cities is good for some of that.
posted by Miko at 9:13 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

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