Thursday, September 9, 2010

Forgo Blog Reading?

One thing that has been bothering me for the last several months is what role other blogs should take in my intellectual life and pursuit of values. How many should I read? How often should I read them? And how intensely should I exert myself to comprehend them? Such are questions I've been having a nearly impossible time answering, resulting in hazy ideas about blog reading that causes interference with my productivity, reading comprehension, and more.

I've tried to cut down before, but that didn't worked. Before choosing to eliminate a blog from my feed I would go through and think about what potential value a blog has to offer me, and then I would proceed to objectively list what I could possibly gain from reading such a blog, thereby preventing me from deleting it. In the end hardly any would be cut out. I've also tried simply trying to forgo daily blog reading, instead opting for once or so a week viewings, but that would lead to such content amassing that I wouldn't know where to start or what pieces to read. Instead, such a method has been motivating me to go to my feed, simply weed out pieces I know I'd never be interested in reading, and then eternally procrastinate on those pieces that did pique my interest, perpetually justifying my delays by stating I'll get to it "later." Inconveniently, later never comes.

As such, I'm switching my attention: Instead of concentrating on which blogs to read and how to read them, I'm asking myself what role blog reading takes in my life at all. Given my educational, culinary, and entrepreneurial aspirations, I'm working to squeeze out any lesser values. Is it possible that perhaps blog reading really does not need to be included in my life?

Here's how I look at it. Blogs are often extremely varied in their subjects, which makes it difficult to maintain an exclusive concentration on a particular thing given the content that's available. There's also the inconsistency of the various lengths of writing, which comes into conflict with my reading desires: Sometimes there's too much to read when I want to quickly fire through something, and not enough when I'm ready and willing to invest the time. Lastly and most important, given the top-bottom presentation of writing posts, it's often difficult for me to gain educational benefits from a particular blog since I'm practically walking right in the middle of things, and after having exerted myself in my other educational endeavors I often lack motivation to exert myself any further at casual blog reading.

In restructuring my life to be as value-oriented as possible -- what with my self-educational goals, central purpose in life, "The Project," and all -- this is a problem worthy of consideration since it entails whether a habit of blog reading is or is not worthy of maintaining. Should I strive to set aside time to do such reading, or eliminate it altogether and fill the gaps with other pursuits? This is a difficult question since I'm contemplating whether or not to maintain something I know I value; in this case, I'm struggling to decide whether I can keep this value or if I should give it up for higher ones. It's a natural inclination of any person to want to keep all his values all the time, but there's only so many resources and so much time; a hierarchy must be established and some values simply won't make the cut.

In contemplating this I have already undertaken to eliminate much of my Google feed. It was difficult given that I do authentically enjoy reading those blogs, but I view it as perhaps necessary. What I'm leaving intact are the blogs that are absolutely the most valuable, especially those that deal with a wide variety of content and often engage in linking. For instance, I could keep track of news through Diana Hsieh's activism summaries, of nutritional issues through the Paleo Rodeo on Modern Paleo, and of Objectivist writings through the Objectivist Roundup hosted on various Objectivist blogs (and always noted on Noodlefood). This type of post -- collecting a bunch of related links into one article -- can serve to direct me to multiple places, just by visiting one source. Instead of cluttering up my feed with all these linked blogs, I could simply keep track of the blogs that compile these links and visit the links as it tickles my fancy.

There is another concern however. How would I best go about getting trusted book reviews? Reading is an essential part of my educational process, and I need to figure out how to judge the methods of the right people to direct me to the best educational resources, rather than just depending on the top results of

Maybe I'm going about this all wrong. Maybe my problems are really just that of methodology, that I'm organizing my reading improperly. What I would like to do, preferably through technological means, is set up a queue that could order specific reading items in a hierarchy that would make me go through them in a specific order so that I couldn't just skip around.

I don't know, but a conclusion needs to be reached in order to be able to live the most valuable life possible. My current thought is to reduce my followed blogs to as few as possible, focusing only on the most valuable, the most varied, and the ones that compile the most links. I'll check out a mailing list I'm a part of, OProducers, for more advice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Etiquette

1.) Do not use vulgar swear words that denote sexual activities or bodily excretions.

2.) Employ common sense manners when addressing the author or other commenters.

Additionally, you're welcome to present contrary and challenging positions within these guidelines, but please do not assume that my lack of response, even if I commented before, is evidence of my endorsement of your position.