Selective reading

Published January 27, 2010

I’m currently listening to some old episodes of [email protected], one of the TWiT stable of podcasts, and Leo Laporte was talking about feed readers. The episode is about a year old now, and even back then he was discussing the fact that everyone gets their news from Twitter, they choose a few key sites to visit every now and then, and that having a news reader is just too much information.

In fact, one particular line of thinking he had made me stop in my tracks. People wanted to have all the information, they wanted to collect everything, but now they’re starting to realise they just can’t do it.

That’s me! I want everything! I collect everything! That’s why I’m listening to episodes that are a year old.

So, Leo says he’s not really using a feed reader anymore, and simply because Leo said it, that means I shouldn’t be either. But I’m not sure I’m ready to give it up.

In our Sidepodcast community, a couple of people have recently said that they no longer check the news, they rely on what is being linked to within the comments. This is all well and good, and very flattering to the community, but if we all stopped doing that, there would be no links in the comments at all. Someone has to be going through all the feeds, don’t they?

The conversation on [email protected] slid over to podcasting, with Leo and Amber suggesting that downloads are always going to be an option but in this day and age, for someone throwing so much information at their listeners (and Leo should know about that!) the best option is to do live streaming. That way people can dip in and out at their own leisure, see what’s happening, and if they’re interested in it.

The important news will always come to the surface, it cycles round, a little like watching your Twitter stream. One of your friends is bound to tweet that big breaking news story eventually.

I just can’t reconcile this in my head. I know I don’t have enough time to consume everything I want, but I’m not ready to give up control yet.

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