Geekspin Blog

Battle the bloat

Posted on: March 15, 2006

All this talk around the “noisy” or “bloated” blogosphere had me thinking about a strategy to manage ones Attention distribution. I have a regular J-O-B and my spare time is very limited between a young wife, sideline projects and sleep, so I need to make this is efficient as possible.

Lets have a look at my reading habits:

In general the type of reading I do can split into 2 large categories, firstly there is the current news category which consists mainly of up-to-the-date info on current affairs, if you read it a week later it would be old news. Secondly there are the feeds that I read (not too many!) of a bunch of local bloggers as well as others that post more long form, insightful and interesting posts, which will have a longer shelf life.

So this is how I think I will manage this lot from now on:

* Assign 3 slots for current news sites like Engadget and memetrackers, I find that having a lower quantity of these is ok as long as you pick the right ones. These get handled the same way I read newspapers, first thing in the morning.

* Assign a limited number of slots for other regular sites containing more long term value (Think Doc Searls, here), with these sites it won’t matter if I don’t hit them everyday, I can always catch up later. I think around 30 slots will suffice. These become like the novels and non-fiction works on my bedside table, I get to them when I get to them.

* Rotate these slots, once a month pick one or two feeds that you don’t like as much as before or that have gone dead and swap out with a couple if interesting ones that may have come up via other sources (I find a lot of new stuff via links on the blogs that I read), it may be worth keeping 5 or 10 up and coming feeds in a B-Pool for later upgrading. Remember you can always swap back an old favorite if you feel the need.

* Try and read in some sort of order, it is often tempting to go to your top 10 feeds first, but try and cycle through your list of 30+ in an orderly fashion, this way you won’t get into a situation where you have tons of unreads on some and other privileged feeds are up to date, remember there may be JUST as much value elsewhere, and remember, you have time!

Tips to bloggers to keep my Attention:

* Give me full feeds, its way more productive than having to click and load a blog site.
* Get to the point, long form post are nice, but keep it under 2 minutes of reading time.
* Stop writing to me as though I am an academic, remember that huge portions of the world do not speak english natively, I like a nice vocabulary as much as the next guy, but there has to be some limits, ok 🙂
* Tell me what you mean by actually saying it, don’t write long complex posts wrapped up in metaphors that only you and your immediate circle of friends “get”.
* Don’t get into stupid blogospats, they just waste my time. Be constructive, not destructive.
* Appear human once a while, crack a joke, tell me about your weekend, make me feel like a friend not a statistic.

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