To Read Does Work

Things I learned while going through my “toreads”:

A year and a half’s worth of setting things aside under “toread” worked well for me.

The vast majority of things I saved were things that I really didn’t need to read right away, and in many cases, they just merited a quick skim. By not dealing with them right away, I saved some up-front time and attention. I was glad to have put them aside for later, even if it meant I had to spend some time today on the last day of the year going through it all.

Tolookat doesn’t work quite as well. Since videos are not skimmable, it was a pain to go through a batch of them today. Respectful request to all video blog publishers (including but not limited to Robert Scoble): when you publish a video on your blog, please consider taking more time to write out some of the key information contained therein in text. Forego the tease and provide me some real and useful notes. I think it’s worth the extra investment of your time to make the reader’s job easier. I skip videos often because you don’t tell me explicitly enough what’s going to be in them. Case in point on Scobleizer — what do you mean when you say “Newsgator is making moves into the enterprise”? This was in my toreads/tolookats and I can’t tell from any of your text whether watching the video is a good investment of my time or not. So I skipped it. Set up with some notes about what having a special RSS aggregator “in the enterprise” really means in this case, I would have probably given it a shot.

And when I came across web applications or new aggregation sites in my “tolookat”, I wasn’t really sure how to “to look at” them today. I need a new tag for things I want to check back on every now and then, or a way to trigger myself to do that.

Next year, I will use Readeroo(which I had and still have marked as a “toread”) to help with this whole “toread” process.

Note: for now, I have punted getting through my paper “toread” pile.

Item notes:

  • Around 8 of the 200 or so links I saved no longer worked, after only a year’s time. And most of them provided no helpful redirect information, just a 404 error page or a blank template page. I think in some cases, someone truncated the urls. I’m not usre if this was the site, my RSS reader, or some other intermediate link in the chain, but in some of these I can see an unfortunate ellipsis. For what it’s worth, problematic links included stories on SFGate’s blogs along with Mashable, Ice Cream For Everyone, Ubergizmo, Henry Jenkins’ blog, and Read/Write/Web.
  • Topps has overhauled Bazooka Joe, made him over to be more like Ashton Kutcher, and introduced several new characters.
  • Texas Monthly has ungracefully removed the very cool illustrations from the online version of this 2005 article about Wes Anderson and Eric Chase Anderson, apparently due to rights issues. It’s a shame; they are pretty central to the article’s content and now I will never see them.
  • The Anderson Boys Grew Up in Texas: Texas Monthly July 2005

  • Great insights from Chris at Voodoo Ventures on the the birth, life, and sale of Huckabuck.
  • US Magazine uses Drupal.
  • Twitterwhere lets you create a feed of all public twitters in a certain geographic area. I can tell this is going to be useful for me though not yet sure exactly how.
  • In August, Merlin Mann offered some very helpful presentation tips. If you haven’t watched his Inbox Zero talk yet, do.
  • In July, Brian Oberkirch opined on human bias and his piece has held up nicely, as do all of his thinkerly/writerly pieces.

And with the conclusion of that exercise, so long 2007 and happy 2008 to you.


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