I am keen to reduce my media overload, and yet it is very hard to, especially with the Internet being like an enormous magazine filled with all types of joy interspersed with pointless rubbish (I’ve never found lolcats funny for example). The best way I can describe my condition is that of dormant joy anxiety - a possibly growing condition whereby the fact that other, brilliant but hitherto unseen sites, apps, videos, sounds and articles that *you* would love exist but lie dormant, creating a need to constantly seek.
That said, there are ways in which people are sharing their’ best of the Web’ version. This saves a little time in that it ‘sates’ some of this anxiety, as well as introducing some interesting new places to visit. The main three are below:
Roo Reynolds Newsletter
Roo is younger than me and I am very jealous of him. There, I said it now. He is a very humble, clever and self-effacing guy who in the past five years has worked for the BBC, an Ad Agency, and now is aiding the Government in collecting and sharing data. A world away from my job as a teacher, but a very interesting world.
Roo is using TinyLetter, a service which supplies a newsletter to those who subscribe. Nothing particularly hi-tech about that, but his range of links is superb – always diverse, interesting and sometimes quite offbeat. This comes out daily.
Kindling – the Do Lectures Newsletter
Kindling is a weekly mailout from the makers of Do, a British version of TED, but with a much more humble approach, and a lot more intimate (with time for ideas to breathe). There are ten or so videos, lectures, articles, animations or pictures each week, and they are helpfully guided in their length (‘four minute read’ for example).
I would love one day to justify the cost of attending DO, for now, this isn’t so much a flavour of the Lectures (though they do feature from time to time), rather a well-curated range of interestingness.
I have written about this before. I have linked it to my Twitter account, as I use that professionally rather than Facebook (which is enjoying some shriving at the moment). Put short, Summify tracks your feed, looks at what is pointed to the most, then handily condenses this into one daily (or more regular) newsletter, showing who has mentioned it, and a brief precis of the article or link.
The idea behind it is supposedly to save you time, but in truth it actually takes time, because it adds to the things you need to look at. One thing to let go with about Twitter is accepting that if you haven’t been around, you’ll have missed things. If you go to the bar at a concert, you;ll miss songs. Accept this with Twitter and you’ll do fine. Summify helps to let you catch up for all the things that you’ve missed, but which other people think are important. Quite a useful tool.
I suppose if I were more technologically inclined, I’d love a meta filter of these content filters, but that would also be a dream for my email too (wouldn’t that be brilliant – a giant metafilter on email, where personal/ professional/ work/ purchasing/etc were filtered into one page, where you clicked to read further…hmm #mygoogle20%), until now, there are three curated newsletters that add value to my online (and sometimes offline) life.
Which newsletters do you subscribe to? What would be your dream subscription?