The End of The Feed Reader

A quick post over at Web Worker Daily asks are we entering a Post-Reader era?

I think for me, the answer is yes. Since September of last year, I’ve been struggling with my Google Reader. Every time I look up, my unread count is over 1000 posts. I just can’t keep up. I subscribe to something like 250 feeds, and some of them are inactive, but the active ones are too much for me. Lately, as I go through my feeds, I’ve been  discarding the ones I now find annoying. Cutting back.

My Twitter use supplanted my lack of feed reading, because I figured if it were that groundbreaking, one or a few of the people I follow would tweet about it, with links. For the most part, that’s been helping me stay somewhat aware of  what’s been going on in the e-streets. The new problem is I am trying to cut back on my Twitter use. I have reached a plateau. I don’t want to follow anymore people. I feel detached from people on twitter I felt more attached to. I keep my Twhirl on, but I don’t say much, just watch the tweets go by.

Along the same lines: I can’t stand all this aggregated information of all my friends!  Friendfeed is cool and all, if you have 4 friends. Anything over  4 people is just out of control. Or perhaps, my actual real life friends need to join the service for me to care. I know there are filters. I know there is additional commentary. Whatever. All these  sites are beginning to drive me insane.

A year ago I would have sworn by RSS and activity aggregation, because it felt like it made things so simple and saved me *so* much time. Today, I can’t stand this mess. I am overloaded with information, now I don’t care. Now I visit sites manually again. Now I need something to help me save time on my saving time.

Maybe I’m just grumpy because I’m in the middle of reading my feeds right now.

Hmph.

The Telephone = Better Than Seesmic, and other Social Media Musings

For the past six months, I’ve been experimenting with different internet video broadcasting formats. I’m not sure why, as I don’t have any personal interest to be in front of the camera, regularly. I’m quite shy when it comes to strangers, so naturally, broadcasting myself via video (live, or taped) would practically be a nightmare for me. Still, I persist in my experiments because I am fascinated with those who are brave enough to give the internet increased access to who they are as individuals. Even more fascinating are the communities that form, or don’t form, around these internet personalities.

In The Beginning
Back in August, it all started with Ronald Lewis. I stumbled upon him via Twitter, which lead me to his 24/7 lifecasting channel on Justin.TV. It seemed like every night I would log on his channel and chop it up with the other regulars. We’d talk about Ron, Ron’s topics/issues regarding life, etc. We’d catch up on each other’s lives, too. It was fun. At the time, broadcast channels were invite only, and when JTV opened its doors to the public, the site went a little crazy. Girls were flashing the camera, some broadcasters were having sex on camera (subsequently getting banned from the site), and the community began to annoy me as it turned into this mob of users looking for the next controversy.

Seesmicking
I won’t go into all of the other video broadcasting formats and shows I have tried, but today it seems as though the most intriguing to me are Seesmic and Yahoo! Live. I’ve been on Seesmic for a few weeks now, and I will say I am about fed up with the community there, and I barely post anything myself. The site lets you record a video and post it to a public timeline for everyone to see, and reply to. Threads and conversations spring out. Think of it as video e-mail on a discussion group, but viewed solely from your inbox and not a more sensible forum or message board format. Picture that full of people you probably don’t have any common interests with. To me, that’s Seesmic. On Fast Company, Bill Cammack effectively summarizes how the setup of the site assists in creating confusion  (and subsequent civil unrest) on Seesmic.

I don’t interact much on Seesmic, mostly because the site was really broken when I first received my invite. It was in a pre-alpha release, so this was understandable. After features started working, and more features were being added, I started to post a few videos, mostly to people I already knew in some capacity on the internet. That was great…..until I ran out of people I knew on the site.

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