How do you keep on current fads

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I'm completely out on the loop on fads. It's not that I'm "out of it", but I'm not a novelty seeker. I've also largely stopped consuming mass media, particularly entertainment.

I think I'm missing out on opportunities. I only get informed by friends and family now, since I don't have coworkers. I need a connection to the fad-interested people.
 

TGZ

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I use twitter to connect with like minded people and I use Reddit quite a bit for promotion of my site. These allow me to somewhat understand cultural shifts, but for understanding fads you need to be fully plugged in.

The best way to understand these fads is to join the online communities for them. However this is a time sink and you will need to decide if it's worth your time to follow these fads. They are fads for a reason instead of lasting phenomena, right?
 
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I usually browse through RSS feeds. Honestly, it's not that big of time sink. 30 or 40 minutes every other day or so. I can do ~1500 items in about that time. I don't read 99% of it, just scan headlines, and don't have the client open otherwise.

It's mostly blogs and aggregators like Reddit (you can get the rss with /r/subreddit/.rss), with a few forums and some news sites. One interesting thing is you can see a post or link go viral over the course of a few days. For reddit, there are a few sites that will even send you emails with the top posts in x subreddits over x time if you don't want to make your own.

Also, once you start following along, there's a shockingly little amount of interesting stuff happening on a day to day basis. You could easily get away with checking your RSS feeds once a week for an hour or so and be fine. RSS feeds are how I found this post too btw.

For more specific things (like meme formats and new words), I don't have an exact answer to that. Something like https://knowyourmeme.com/ or urbandictionary.com is probably your best bet. You might be a little behind but still ahead of the curve in general. There's also google trends.

Also, it's popular to do what happened in [x time frame] posts (usually end of the year), so you could look out for those as well if you don't mind being a little more behind.
 
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If you can find a non-retarded podcast that gives you a digest of what's going on in the world, that might be a good start. There are a few I listen to where I more or less trust the hosts, and I get a feel for what's going on culturally, even though it's second-hand. It's a lot less stressful and less time consuming.

I agree with @gcomt about how little interesting stuff is going on in the world. I don't know how many times I check HackerNews and I'm just like "Oh, more bullshit" and I close the tab with disdain.
 
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In regards to niches I'm working in then I use Google Trends RSS feeds to keep a close eye on what is popping up. Comparing top queries across a month, week and day helps keep me up to date with what was a flash in the pan and what is actually something that's developing into something bigger. Pinterest is also another good one for it if your niche is focused around it, especially with the keyword breakdowns on search.

In relation to the industry, I try to check my Feedly and Podcast daily. I'm pretty damn awful at it right now, but getting better!
 
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Google Alerts are awesome for trends and fads within your specific niche. set up a bunch of alerts for all industry related companies and such. You'll get a super curated email about all the new happenings in the space

The twitter "discover" page is a very good place for trending news. If the Kardashians do anything or something crazy happens, you can be sure it'll be trending on twitter