Wednesday, April 23, 2008

simplicity, choice and news sources

a rather interesting micro-phenomena has been going on in my life. twice in the past week, my good friend napture has been informing me of new media (NM) trends and stories as they were reported in traditional media (TM), or blogs that he had come across.

The first story was coming across uniquefrequency's blog post "Why Generation Y Doesn’t Read The Newspaper And Can They Do Anything?" Now, i posted this about three posts earlier, and actually was blogging live on the IDC conference when uniquefrequency first made his comment. so in some sense, this came as 'old' news even though he informed me one day later.

The second story was when Digital Life ran the story of how Twitter helped a UC Berkley undergrad escape incarceration in Egypt after being arrested. @Techcrunch first posted it on Twitter (of which i subscribe to) about the article that he blogged on Techcrunch. This news comes one week late to me.. and it's interesting because journalists are following the same bloggers / new media evangelists that i follow. which is somewhat natural.. wisdom rises to the top and becomes influence.

we really live in a world of decentralised information, where no breaking story is really breaking for a very long period of time. i'm also reminded that my perception of the world is shaped inherently by the media i choose to consume. which also lies my diellema of choice. there is no way we can read all the sources of information online, and thus doomed to only shape a fractal truth of something that really happened. it's the post-modern state where everything is nothing at the same time.

so how i live my life, is based on the choices i make everyday, what i read, consume and spit back out into this world. just one more blip in the pulse of the intertubes.

but anyway, i digress.. the point of simplicity that i'm a trying to make is that, i have simplified my life with the use of RSS feeds. at a glance i can see all the news and information that i choose to subscribe to. some are more useful than others, some are entirely useless, but at its heart, i chose to subscribe to them.

mass communication models are breaking down, they can no longer hold the control of one way information via broadcast, print, radio.. everything is splintering apart, everything is fragments. media people, corporations and the consumer have to recognise this. that the old way of doing things, the old theories do not hold true anymore in a connected world. new theories have to be thought of, something to explain the things we see.

the vague and loose point that i'm trying to make about simplicity is my own natural evolution in the way i aggregate information. i'm trying to apply John Maeda's laws of simplicity to my own aggregation of information, and the first law, reduction, are wise words to live by.

"The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction."

you can download laws of simplicity wallpapers here

so, do have a rethink of the way you consume information, what you can leave out, and what you can't do without. then think of the process in which you consume that information, and if you have a need to aggregate that information, find out what tools you'll need, if not.. don't bother -)


Cool Insider said...

Certainly agree with you on the simplicity bit. I think that the information overload (or contacts overload) brought about by the entire social media movement can be too overwhelming at times. For me, I took a sabbatical from blogging for a couple of weeks when it hit me real bad. Now, fortunately or unfortunately, the bug has bitten me yet again and I am back in the blogosphere with a vengeance.

By the way, thanks for commenting on my blog, and we really should catch up one of these days. ;)

brian koh said...

@walter : Hi Walter, thanks for dropping by this humble blog! I'd love to catch up with you some time as well!

here's toward simplicity!

Stephen Tompkins said...

Hi Brian -

Interesting post I wrote one a while back talking about the need to simplify my connections as well. I like your idea to use the Maeda law and apply it to my RSS feeds. I was thinking of levels of importance with my RSS feeds. I set them up as categories like "must read daily," "weekly" and so forth. It seems to help simplify the week for me when time is of the utmost importance. But that is just one aspect of the many!


brian koh said...

@stephen tompkins: thanks for dropping by! yeah, i think with this amount of conversations, it's always good to keep it as simple as possible -) you have an interesting system, i guess it's how our brains compartmentalise stuff init?