Information Overload

6 years ago when I started blogging (on phpWebSite platform which somehow I did not keep any of my old entries), there ain't much to read on the net. Well, for me at least -- my daily readings are Slashdot and the Heralds, that's about it. I thought I've got all the news that matters.

Fast forward all these years. I still read SMH in the mornings and in the evenings (and sync the mobile content on my PDA as well). I now also read Digg and TechMeme to catch those left out by Slashdot. And my Bloglines feeds -- only about 120 of them generating around 500 new items for daily consumption.

Information overloaded? Yes indeed. That's the age we are living in.

Scoble, Arrington and Om Malik mentioned the same thing in TalkCrunch episode 12 -- people just don't have the time anymore to go through that much news item everyday. Ironically that the statement came from three guys that can be said are news generating super stars.

These days I am also subscribing to quite a few "podcasts". Or should I call "netcast" or "audcast"? Just in case you know... TWiT and its network of podcasts are my favourite, but there are quite a few others so I can listen to more overloaded news items while I am not in the reading mode.

The thing is, probably because I am not a fast reader, I found it is easier to digest detailed analysis when I am listening to podcast, then reading a blog post. Maybe it is to do with the information delivery mechanism -- everything is forced fed into you, and you cannot pause and "think about it", which subsequently produced an illusion that you can digest something faster with audio or video feed than text feed.

On the other end, if I have 500 items on my Bloglines subscription, it would be faster to do it over text than podcast, as "skimp through" just does not work well with audio and video.

Alright, so if you have listened enough TWiT or TalkCrunch, you've heard enough announcements that media everywhere is starting their own podcast. Companies here are starting a few shows a week, and organisations there are starting their daily feeds. All sound interesting -- but without the inherit ability of "skimping through" like text articles, I am not sure how general public is going to consume all that.

At the end, I often have to tell myself "Stop Reading!" so I can actually get things done. Maybe I'll go back to Slashdot + SMH.