Saturday, January 24, 2009

Limits to information processing

I just completed setting up my RSS feeds but only subscribed to 4 or 5. Why? Because at a certain point, it's going to turn into an inefficient time suck. I can't even imagine having 9 external sources of incomng information every day, on top of email and all the links that accrue with that.
This process keeps prompting the question of how much information is too much? Information needs to be processed to have meaning. The human brain can process but so much information within a given time. At a certain point, understanding becomes very superficial: an exercise in skimming. Where's the fun in that?


  1. Well, I'd say that RSS readers are exercises in skimming. Being aware of what you like from what you see in the skimming process, you spend the time you want on the items you've removed from the shaff thanks to your fantastic skimming skills! My RSS feeds are growing over time, and I never feel any obligation to read them in full. You always have a nice button that says "mark all as read" and you can clear your list of 241 things to read (I mean skim) in a jiffy. RSS feeds saves you from going to those 300 places of interest as you did in days of inefficient browsing, instead bringing the cream of the crop to you. Then you can build your meal of information for the day, knowing you only went to restaurant menus that were of interest to you. Happy Blogging and RSSfeeding!

  2. I treat it like a newspaper now - skimming is the name of the game!!! I have 86 subscriptions, and I absolutely don't read all items every day. I do read the headlines. And, if I've been away for a week (Ha! When does that happen? Oh, actually, 2 weeks ago) I do hit the "mark all as read" button. If it was that important, I would have heard it hitting the fan already.