In an IM conversation I had with Paul this morning, I decided to embark on an experiment. I’ve decided to drop out of all things social (online) for a few weeks. This includes Twitter, Buzz, Facebook, blogging, etc. The only thing this doesn’t include is email and IM — those are essential.
My online activities can be broken down to about 95% consumption and only 5% contribution. I know… I should give back more. If I were a “Jake”, I would. The thing is, I get more value from the intertubes by consuming it. I have no real excuse for not giving back as much as I consume. Reciprocity is something I need to practice more in general.
Anyway, the big reason I’m doing this is that since last Tuesday, I’ve sunk a lot of time into futzing with Google Buzz. That’s time I’ll never get back. Meanwhile, I have yet to see the real value of Google Buzz. Before Buzz, conversations and information sharing were already fragmented. Between Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., it has become increasingly difficult to consume information — especially for someone who spends 95% of their online time doing it.
The goal of my experiment is to figure out if I’ll miss using these social tools as a way to find new and interesting content — and, more importantly, if I’ll miss out on something I might find important. I didn’t include Google Reader in the list because out of all the tools I use online Reader is actually one that brings order to chaos… even if I have 1000+ unread postings. In the end, I’m hoping to filter out some of the noise out of my day. I spend 9-12 hours staring at a screen and would love it if there was less clutter that distracted me from actually getting things done. If I happen to miss one of these channels at the end of this experiment, I’m going to figure out what I miss and why, then I’m going to try to improve my process in order to bring order to it all. This all started because Paul sent out a link on OraTweet (Oracle’s internal version of Twitter) pointing to the “Side effects of developing for yourself” — a post about the positive consequences from solving a problem for yourself by the creator of Instapaper. Well, this is my problem… and this is the start of how I’m planning to solve it.
Am I the only one with this problem?