I was reading an article in Reader’s Digest on trends that are changing life – one trend they spotted is personalized media in the form of customized news, blogs, personalized TV etc. In my line of work, they call grandfather systems which we are upgrading to newer technologies as legacy system – like that, the legacy media keeps reporting about blogging and internet as a new phenomenon in a funny way. One of their arguments is, if you are filtering news and customizing it based on your preferences, you might run the risk of some sort of tunnel vision. You choose what you like or the system start choosing what it thinks you like (sounds like science fiction). I don’t really have a problem with that – in fact I would like to build that into systems to have capability to monitor my actions and help me out by pulling up suggestions about what I am looking for. It is more human approach – if I go to a shop and ask for product which is not there, a good salesman will try to pitch for other similar product which may satisfy or exceed my expectations – if he is really trying to help me out instead of generally being desperate, it will be fantastic. For example, I use Amazon.com in many different ways than to actually buy something. I can compare products which I am going to buy from a store anyway, read reviews, search for my favorite books/music/movies and look up their lists on “Customers who bought this also bought..” and other lists. Most often I find that the items it shows match my taste. It can build my store based on the things I browse. But you have to break out the habit of restricting yourself to personalized information because you need to change continuously to avoid getting bored with life and its routines.

But with this information explosion in the web, it is very difficult to keep up with even my own interest areas even if I have personalized tools. I started marking so many articles as unread in bloglines that it is impossible now to finish the backlog of the articles I may be interested in. On the top of that I started adding bookmarks to del.icio.us account which I am sure I will never be able to get back to. It is like a kid collecting smooth looking pebbles and stashing away only catch dust in the attic. I need to figure out a way to read what I want in limited time I have every day and let go of mildly interesting stuff instead of archiving for later.


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