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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Information Overload

I feel like I've been experiencing information overload lately, and I think that has a lot to do with why I've been having a hard time blogging. I have a serious case of blogger's block, and it's not because I have nothing to write about, but I don't have that little spark that ignites under your ass and makes your fingers fly across the keyboard. Usually, my problem is I have too many ideas just needing to get out, but now I have ideas, but they are happy to stay lounged on my mental couch for now.

So the information overload part: I've dramatically increased the amount of stuff I'm reading every day. I subscribe to probably a dozen advice columns (I have a thing for them, don't ask me why), probably a dozen more personal blogs, a handful of "news" sources (which really just means fluff these days), and about 5 little joke sites. Most of these sites are updated daily, and some of them are updated multiple times per day.

But then I'm reading a lot off the computer too. The LSAT is about 2 months away now, and I'm starting to feel the heat. I've made a lot of excellent progress over the last six months, and I'm averaging in my goal range on my practice exams now, but I'm starting to feel urgent about really tightening up the loose ends in my skill set. So every day I read in my LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible, and I just ordered three new LSAT books that I plan to cover before the test.

During the down times at work, when I'm not peeking at other people's blogs, I've been reading a really interesting story called Double or Nothing online at Harper-Collins. It's free to read online until April 14, and I'm a sucker for free, especially when the free thing is interesting.

Then, of course, there's my actual work, in which I have to process pieces of mail and churn out letters and submissions to the patent office. That's nothing too mentally strenuous, but it is part of what has contributed to the effect of my information overload:

I feel unable to create anything.

It's like I'm taking so much in that I can't let anything out.

So maybe it's time to go on an information diet. There are some things in my feed reader that I don't really enjoy looking at anymore like I once did, but I still look at them anyway, so maybe it's time to cut those out altogether. (No, I don't mean your blog, or your blog, or yours either, so relax. I mean things like Slate.com. I mean seriously, how often do they put out something worth reading? Not often enough to justify scanning the headlines daily.) I can't really reduce the LSAT stuff until after the test, so I'll just have to hang on to that stuff. And obviously, I can't stop doing my actual work. (Can't I?)

So that's it, I'll thin out my feed reader and hope that that helps me be able to churn out my own stuff to clog up your feed readers.



Note to the feed reader unwise:

There are a few of my readers who are somewhat internet unsavvy (hi, dad). This is for you.

A feed reader is a way of subscribing to all your favorite websites without having to visit the sites themselves. Many sites such as blogs have a "feed", which is basically a syndication of the site's publications. So if you add that feed to your feed reader, then you can view it and all your other feed subscriptions in one place. It's really rather convenient, and if you are into reading internet sites but haven't jumped on the feed reader bandwagon, I suggest you put your jumping shoes on and get ready to jump!

I use Google Reader as my feed reader, and I'm happy with it.

There are many ways to subscribe to feeds. You can start from your feed reader and search for the url of the website you are interested in subscribing to, then it will take care of the rest. Or you can visit the site you want to subscribe to and look for the Feed symbol . Clicking on this or any link associated with it will take you to the feed where you will be able to select your feed reader. (Helpful hint: this symbol usually appears in the URL box on your browser too, so if you can't readily find the symbol on the site, just click it up in the URL box.)

Happy feed reading.



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5 comments:

Sterkworks said...

I'll have to check out Google Reader. Usually I have all my RSS feeds at work, but not my personal one.

The Over-Thinker said...

For what it's worth--your "bloggers block" hasn't crimped your commenting style. You crack me up and your comments are definitely some of my favorites.

And thanks for the 101 on feeds. I've never subscribed to one before, but like you, I'm getting a bit out of control with the whole blog-e-mail-post-comment thing.

Sra said...

I enjoy Google Reader. I use it as my homepage.

Thanks, over-thinker, I appreciate that :)

The Over-Thinker said...

For what it's worth--your "bloggers block" hasn't crimped your commenting style. You crack me up and your comments are definitely some of my favorites.

And thanks for the 101 on feeds. I've never subscribed to one before, but like you, I'm getting a bit out of control with the whole blog-e-mail-post-comment thing.

Sra said...

I enjoy Google Reader. I use it as my homepage.

Thanks, over-thinker, I appreciate that :)

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