Information overload is an old story, but there’s plenty of good information out there and you still need a way to get at it and share it. The real question, the operational question, is what do you do every single day? What do you do after the novelty of this or that site has worn off? What do you persist in doing despite the sensation of information overload? After all, that feeling is never going to go away. Whether you’re swimming or drowning, you still need the water.
Do you check Facebook every day? I never got in the habit.
Do you use Twitter? I read Twitter regularly, but I don’t tweet very often. Twitter is one of best channels I have for discovering unexpected new stuff. At work I use a Twitter-like enterprise knockoff called Yammer.
Do you use a feed reader? I use Google Reader every day, but that’s pretty old-school at this point. I think feed readers are a dying breed. I’m worried that Google is going to shut down Google Reader.
Do you check individual blogs or news sites directly? I mostly use Google Reader instead, but with all the craziness in the news this year, I’ve been visiting CNN and NYTimes.com a lot.
I try to visit my Instapaper site regularly, because I’m always pushing stuff there with the magic “Read It Later” button. Instapaper is a kind of larder or anteroom where information that has already passed the audition is waiting to be consumed. The problem is that it tends to pile up.
I still like to blog, but there are so many ways to share information now that it makes you think a little more carefully about what and why you’re writing. Blogging feels like overkill for simple link sharing. That’s where Tumblr comes in. Tumblr (which was originally created by the same guy who does Instapaper) didn’t impress me when I first came across it, but they’ve done a very good job simplifying its usage model, and now I use it for storing links after I’ve verified that they’re good and worth keeping and distributing. So if you’re interested in seeing my cast off links that don’t merit a complete blog post, here’s where you go: Rambles Backyard.
Footnote: I was just downstairs reading Flipboard on the iPad, and I came across an item saying that Marco Arment, the Instapaper developer, is going to add blogging support to Instapaper. I tagged the article “Read Later”, came upstairs, opened Instapaper, and pasted the item here: Instapaper May Add Blogging Support. The ecosystem gets more tangled every day.