Sunday, December 14, 2014

Simple Pleasure Sunday: theSkimm

cappuccino and chocolate croissant at my favorite coffee shop with a Kindle book back in August

Instead of reading the newspaper at breakfast, I grab my phone and skimm. theSkimm is a service that emails you a text summary of the latest news early each morning Monday through Friday. Since I do not own a TV at the moment, this is invaluable to me. With my last phone I ditched right before my April trip to Paris, I used a news app. Each category had a tab and more often than not, I clicked on the "entertainment" section rather than actual news. Unfortunately, I became more well-versed in Kim Kardashian's life than world events. I believe it is important to know something about what's going on in order to be an informed participant in politics. So, I am happy to have found theSkimm. The authors write a short email covering domestic and international events, without any imagery. It is conversational in tone and actually explains the situation, key players and/or past history. Not completely unbiased, the authors usually end a paragraph with a funny little comment. It is set up to enable the reader to be an informed participant in real life conversations. Of course, it's social, so you can share any part of the email or the entire service on facebook and twitter.

There is a particular format each email follows. First, the subject line is some quirky little quip. Under the date, the authors briefly write a line about what they were doing while they drafted the text, which is usually linked to an event of the past day. Below this, there's a quote set in its context. There are one or two top stories next. After that, there are smaller summaries of several other stories. Towards the bottom, there's a new vocabulary term defined or possibly a book or film recommendation. Then, they usually advertise a company's giveaway. They promote themselves, but they also show appreciation and recognize Skimm'rs who spread the word and finally list subscriber's names and cities when it's his/her birthday. Many of the sections contain a link for more information.

This isn't as pleasurable as savoring a dark chocolate truffle, but I do look forward to reading it each weekday morning. I usually read it while sipping my two little cups of espresso and eating one of the pieces of the item I baked for breakfast for the week. After reading the short yet sweet email, I feel like I basically know what's going on and not left out of conversations because I knew about it before someone brought it up. I highly recommend it. To learn more:

Edit: Today, December 17th is National Skimm Day. To subscribe, click here--> theSkimm.

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