In the past, I actually haven’t read a lot of other blogs. Oh, I subscribe to them, but I am bad about reading them. My thinking was that I needed to keep focused on getting my own stuff done, and didn’t need all those extra ideas swimming in my head.
When I was diagnosed with Adult-Onset Productivity-Responsibility Syndrome, I realized that getting back in touch with the world was a very big deal, both personally and professionally. I just need to be smarter about it! In other words, develop a process that maximizes my productivity in this regard.
The Process, inspired by the “batch cognition” approach that I see in GTD:
- Skim all blog titles only in Bloglines.
- Open summary for interesting titles.
- If it looks interesting, middle-click the post link (this opens the link in a new tab).
- Scan the article. Add it to my StumbleUpon toolbar if it’s exceptional.
- If it’s really good, print it out and file it in my General Reference.
It’s important that I middle-click the post link, not the links inside of the blog post itself. That’s because otherwise I lose the original attribution for interesting sublinks.
I would say that there are two areas of interest for me, professionally speaking.
- Productivity — This is a subject very close to my heart, and I didn’t even know it until a few weeks ago. I like stationery and office supplies. I am naturally curious about information graphics, design, communication, and workflow. This is quite probably the core of my business, and I need to find a community of like-minded individuals to talk with. I think this will help shape my “corporate identity”. There are supporting categories for this: graphic design for how people perceive visual communication, industrial design for how people interact with objects, interior design and architecture for how people deal with spaces, heck, just about all forms of design are pertinent. Cognitive science and systems analysis also come to mind, as do the various writings on organizational science, logistics and management.
Empowerment — I like the feeling of being empowered, and I like figuring out how to make it happen in myself and others. Anything I learn, I naturally like passing along. Normally I draw upon my own experiences, but there is a lot going on that I’d like to help build. Supporting categories for this: education and learning to understand how to effect change in somone, psychology to understand personal motivation and the self, and leadership to have the strength to show people the way.
So that’s what I’m thinking the core of my reading will follow. Then there’s the maintenance of skills which act in a supporting role.
- Flash Development — I’ve been doing interactive development in Flash since version 3, and Director since version 3 as well, but I’m not really drawn to the hardcore Flash/Director community. This lack of passion used to bother me, but now I just see it as a sign that Flash is a “supporting interest”, not the interest itself.
p>There are tons of other areas of interest, but I think these 4 categories will suffice for the daily read. It just struck me that there’s one more category of blog that I need to have:
- Personal Blogs — There are a number of people on the Internet that I just find fascinating, and I follow them because they are personally inspiring. There’s usually some kind of overlap with one of the other areas, but not always. I read these blogs purely because I enjoy them.
Now that I have a process in place, I’m hopeful that my blog reading will be more productive. I’ll reorganize my bloglines subscription by these categories, and remove any blog that doesn’t fit. That should improve my focus considerably.