The curse of too much good web

I finally got round to listening to the podcast of Jason Kottke (kottke.org) and Heather Armstrong (dooce.com) at SXSW [sxsw.com]. And I’m glad I did, their discussion is an interesting insight into their positions as high-profile bloggers.

But it took me ages to get round to it, the curse of too much good web. It depends how you handle it, I haven’t found a perfect method yet. I have my infamous ‘To Read’ bookmark folder which is meant to capture the overflow, it perennially grows and never gets read. Often links that go in there are dated by the time I get to reading them anyway.

It was recommended to me once that I learn to skim-read really fast and to a certain extent I do that. But the web is brilliant for distractions and deep links that before you realise it you’ve been reading an article three links away from the one you started out reading. But it wasn’t conscious, one link lead to a better link which lead to a better article.

I’m at the point now where if I load up my favourite websites to read, the memory useage of Firefox 1.5 under Windows XP is over 200,000 K. While thats happening Firefox tends to be unstable so online transactions are out of the question and normally running something like streaming will cause a crash. And I find it hard to prune my favourite links, they are all so good. If only I got paid to read them.

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2 thoughts on “The curse of too much good web”

  1. I battle with the same thing – I’m discovering though you can take advantage of down time like first thing in the morning when you are still trying to wake up, or later at night when you don’t really have the energy to do any productive work anyway… good time to process through that stuff (instead of maybe watching TV or looking at random photos on facebook), and yes learning skim reading techniques definately helps.

    I use a combination of the Read It Later firefox extension, and then from there I either read through them at the right time (I try not to let it grow too much), or if I see that it will take longer to read I put it into my todo list in the right sort of priority area.

  2. It is interesting how I tackle distractions now. I think I’m slowly getting better at it.

    It reminds me of a Dimmer song called ‘Nowhere I Want’ which has the lyrics “I’ve been turning down information, facts that are best left a mystery”. There is a lot of stuff these days I just don’t need to know so I don’t read about it.

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