Information Overload

Going on vacation for a few days and being without internet access is liberating, but it’s so painful . After getting back from 4 days in Cabo, it took me over 3 hours to go through all the accumulated email, rss feeds, and tweets, and to check my usual websites. Which I think means I spend over an hour a day on “information upkeep.” This isn’t terrible or terribly surprising, but it still seems like life should be a little more streamlined so that being disconnected for a few days doesn’t mean one is inundated with a backlog of things to do. Saving 10-15 minutes a day would be a huge time savings. On the other hand, there’s not really that much to do in life.

Some things that I think would help a little:

  • Some sort of priority queue for twitter. I can organize rss feeds into different folders in google reader, which is very useful when I want to skip certain feeds. Having something like this for twitter would be a little useful.
  • A better news system. It was nice when I had the time to listen to the New York Times front page and BBC world news podcasts, back when I had to walk to classes (after my bike was stolen). Not having a TV makes my news gathering a bit intermittent. Currently, I subscribe to rss feeds from the NYT, NPR, Economist (rarely read), and Slashdot, but it’s a minor miracle if I ever read past the feed’s attached blurb for the articles. Having to go through roughly 100 posts a day from these sources is also a bit of a chore. I think it would be nice to have a place where I get short summaries of maybe 15-20 news items a day. Of course, finding a balance of local, national, global, and science/tech news with that constraint is probably a bit difficult. Any suggestions would be welcome on how to tackle this problem.

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