There are several ways to monitor the information flow from different sources and to keep updated with things inside as well as outside the academic world.
It is often possibel to create alerts in your favorite databases. You will receive a message when a new match to your subject area has entered the database.
RSS / Podcast Feeds
RSS is a way to follow feeds (news from websites, newspapers and others) in your own RSS-reader instead of having to visit every website yourself. Some web browsers have RSS reader where you can save your favourites.
Many researchers, politicians and journalists have interesting blogs that yo can follow. Look at the examples under "Blogs".
Research and project databases
What´s going on? Check out the research and project databases! Many funders have databases where you can find information on ongoing research.
Following relevant blogs is a way to keep updated with discussions within your subject area. Here are some examples of social science blogs and blog portals: