Give yourself permission.

Mitch Joel posted about a problem many (most?) of us have: How to keep up with all the content to which we’ve subscribed? Like Mitch, I’m currently subscribed to many more blogs than I can read, and more podcasts than I can listen to. As more content gets created from more sources, what are we to do?

Drinking from a fire-hose can only work for a split-second until you’re thrown across the room. I think we have to view media (consumer-generated or not) the same way. Let’s build a shaky metaphor with the fire-hose example.. With the fire-hose, you know that it doesn’t really matter if some water gets by you, there’s bound to be more. It’s the same way with media..

I have one “old-media” dependancy I still cling to, and that’s the morning paper.. Sure, most of the “news” are items I’ve seen the day before in my RSS reader, but there are always some things I haven’t seen. I also enjoy reading my paper with a coffee & toast more than eating at my computer. With the newspaper, if I miss a day, it’s no biggie – I won’t go back and read yesterday’s paper in an effort to catch up. If there was a REALLY big story, it’ll resurface somehow as a follow-up item or an editorial.

Same thing with most blogs/podcasts. It’s not the end of the world to me if I miss an episode. If it’s that important, I’ll hear about it – either in the following episode, or referenced by another show/blog.

We have more choices than ever, but just because you’ve subscribed you still aren’t obliged to listen/read. Give yourself permission to miss a post, and you’ll be much happier for it.

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2 Comments

  1. Mitch Joel says:

    You’re right Bob. I need to get more comfortable with the “mark all as read” button. If something is hugely important, odds are it will show up again.

    I too love the morning paper still. David Weinberger said it best: “I still read it, but the news is already one day old.”

    Going to turn off the fire hose for a night now.

  2. julien says:

    hey dude, i totally agree with this strategy. i go through all my stuff every few days but i definitely don’t read it all – all the more reason to post highly relevant titles: people are ingesting way too much!

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