July 31, 2006

The First Week

Day one: Well, I am experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms. All of a sudden, there is no third window to alt+tab to. But the thinking has slowed down, emails and issues are being tracked better, but no significant bumps in productivity yet.

Day two: It feels like a million voices, all shrieking at the same time, have been silenced. There is a huge void, a deafening silence. I can think of at least four things I could have written about, but would not have written about. I do not know anymore what's the latest list of top ten things that are being consumed at any time by a million RSS aggregators.

I think I have observed it earlier, but I hardly know the domain names or the layout/design of most websites that I read with the RSS aggregator anymore. I can, sometimes, identify by the style of writing who the author is, but most times I just cannot. It seems to be a case of consuming information without the personal context, which is exactly opposite of what blogging is meant to about. It is raw, it is ugly, but it is all about data and the connections they make to each other.

My fingers are very thankful about this hiatus. I am sure they must have been sick of me going through the 300 plus list, clicking and clacking away one feed at a time. But I have not managed to switch yet.

I've managed to miss the new Netscape.com being hacked. I am being unfaithful to my hiatus here, though I did not reach there via the aggregator.

Interestingly, due to searches for nude pictures of various Bollywood actresses and prostitutes in Noida (?!!), traffic keeps coming in, thus proving that with popular enough content, websites don't really die in this age of Google and a multitude of other crawlers who keep revisiting your brain dump. Which begs the question, would it really be a violation of the ToS of Adsense if you create your own content (bona fide) across a vast variety of topics and leave it as it is, earning you dough for doing nothing at all in your old age?

Another interesting observation is about social interaction. I did not know when someone called up yesterday and asked "did you not read my post?" what the post was all about. The thoughts are no longer about what another blogger is thinking/writing/doing and other online things. Life in real life is considerably slower and you get a lot less of interesting things to read/do.

That said, on a blank browser, it is hard to find interesting things to do. Without the delicious 'popular' list and the other feeds I track, there is hardly anything to read other than boring media websites. The future probably belongs to the aggregator, but certainly not only to the aggregator.

Day three: Not good at all. I am tempted to fire up everything again.

Day Four: I am not as bothered by not reading blogs and writing them as much as the weird manner in which I seem to work. Miles and miles of improvement possible here. It would be nice to blame the blogs for your crap, but the problem is deeper and wider than that.

Day Five: I have run out of observations, sue me.

Day Six: I am kind of getting used to this, but it still does take a bit of an effort to keep myself from clicking on the GreatNews icon. But I guess the main theory still holds that for people who can multitask well, the extra reading only adds to your capabilities. But that has the downside of making you feel like you've accomplished something even when you are struggling with your other tasks. In other words, isolate different tasks, compartmentalise time and activity, tweak and optimise individually and the the whole will follow the parts.

Is time for an update?