A step by step guide to regaining sanity 2.0.real
Live in the Time of Twitter and Real-Time-Web
I’ll be honest. It’s a misleading title. But then it’s catchy (or so I think), and also displays the writer’s knowledge (if one can call it that) of the literary work that inspired (as defined by Bollywood music directors, story writers) the title. It hardly matters, then, that the article has no connection whatsoever to that literary work, or the title. Actually it has some connection to the latter (I have to keep someone interested!).
Yes, that’s the first mental adjustment you should make, before its too late: everything in web 2.0.real (or whater version that’s out right now) is designed to catch your attention. Attention first, content later.
It’s not very dissimilar to people faking things in their resumes, to pass the first cut — for when you’re competing with people who’re faking royally, those who don’t fake never make the first cut, despite the real content (as opposed to real time? lol, I didn’t say that!) in their resumes. It’s after the attention (or first cut), that the content becomes relevant.
So to get back to the point (did we ever go away from it?):
1. Just because it’s catchy doesn’t mean it’s worth reading.
Yes, learn that as fast as you could (except, make an exception for this blog). And save the disappointment (except for this blog). In short: don’t trust the lead ups. Don’t trust the title. Scan fast, and decide if you want to spend time reading it.
Here is the corollary:
2. Not everything needs to be bookmarked
Gone are the days when you clicked a link, and bookmarked it, tagged it, put it on this list or that. Organized it …
Gone gone gone…
That only made sense, when you actually meant to come back to those links for a detailed look, for ruminating, for thinking over (mean the same thing? I know. It’s for effect), for reading about and around them. And that only made sense when the links were far and few, that you could actually do those things.
Remember this: too many bookmarks is no bookmarks.
Sure you’ll get a couple of links in hundreds that you come across on twitter on a daily basis, that you’ll need/want to bookmark. But the rest you need to treat with the same respect (or lack of it) that you would afford, say, a conversation you have with a colleague over a cup of tea in the office pantry. You listen. You comment. You forget — trusting your brain to bring it back, if it ever became necessary.
And that brings us to the next point:
3. Not everything needs to be read with full attention
Yes. What’s more: it cannot be done, so don’t try doing it. If you ever learned about sampling theorem, you know what to do. If you didn’t, go read about it NOW (haha: that’s rule 4, we’ll get there). And forget rule 3 while you’re doing it.
The problem of the ‘real time web’, as of now, is that it’s a waterfall. And till things get sorted out, with filters, meta-filters, agreegators, and meta-aggregators, and net-oracles (yes!) come to your aid, you’d do well to glance and discard. Even at the risk of loosing content. Yes. (That’s rule 5. We’ll come to that).
Keyword is: fast. Yes, real-time-web demands a wire-speed decision making about value proposition of a content. You’re maybe lucky enough right now: you still have a few milliseconds per lead. Soon, you’d have microseconds. Then nanoseconds. Sharpen up your skills, or you’ll become one of the unreal-timers.
4. Now is the time
Now, is the time when everything has to be read. Not later. Not tomorrow, not sometime later. Those were the old days. It’s now or never, for most of the content you’re reading won’t be relevant tomorrow, or day-after. Why not ‘not read it at all’? Well if you can do that, you’re the liberated. You, my friend, were not sucked by the matrix. And you my friend, are a big fat lier: for you wouldn’t be reading this stupid howto then. Not this far, at any rate. If you’re here, you need help, dear. You’re already sick. Like me.
5. It’s okay to miss news
Yes. Remember this: all ad campaigns are trying to sell you what you don’t need. And so it is with the real-time-web, and tag lines of its creators.
So when they say: “Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world” don’t take it literally. Don’t take it to heart. Share what you can. Discover what you can. The rest — you’ll thank me for this insight — was always there, and you were good at missing it, not not even knowing you missed it. And you could live with missing all that. So don’t forget ‘that’. Say with me: it’s okay to miss news.
6. Don’t throw away the baby with bathwater.
Yes. For all my sarcasm, scepticism, cynicism, there is lot to be found there. Things for which you should forget rules 1 to 5. You’ll bookmark those things, tag them, put them on lists. You’ll read about them, around them. Blog about them. Update your world-view with them. You’ll read them later; reread them even.
And that is why, it’s a good thing that you’re sick. Like me.
Go, get real!