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One New Thing
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
One New Thing: Thoughts on information preferences.

I remember reading something, months ago now, about how RSS aggregators were so great because you could scan one page containing all the headlines from websites you wanted to read. Which is definitely more useful than looking at all the different pages. Earlier this week I realised that because I was subscribing to a large number of library-related blogs, and they all came up on one page, I was avoiding reading them because I would open the aggregator and think, oh no I don’t have time to read 200 items, I’ll do it later (when it would become 400, then 600 items…).
So I’ve re-sorted them into individual folders, because as with most things, I feel I can handle small chunks (14 items here, 23 there, 5 here). I do feel like I’m going against the whole grand plan of having all the information in one place, but now I don’t read library stuff during work hours like I used to (when I worked in a library), I’m realising much more how important it is to have information presented in an efficient way, because otherwise I know I won’t bother reading it. I think being aware of this will help me with some of the stuff I’ll be taking on in the future, doing user documentation and the like. I mean, I signed myself up for all those blogs – imagine coming from a user perspective, checking a website or something, needing a specific piece of information, and being presented with 200 when you’re only interested in 10?

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