Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Binary Bubble

When being more connected makes you less informed.

I've always been a news junkie, rarely listening to music on the radio when I can listen to news. When the TV was on it was usually on a 24 hour news channels.

Enter Web 2.0

Now, because I readily have news, blogs, podcasts, videos, etc. all sent to me with minimal effort, I have not watched or read or listened to a traditional news source in a looooong while. Every time I tune in, a commercial starts or a story I'm not interested in. So I fire up the iPod or feed reader and pull up something that I find more engaging.

I thought it something of an informational nirvana - few ads, compelling content and all tailored to my schedule.

And yet, I've been recently wondering about what I'm missing. I don't mean the ads of course, but the information that I used to pick up with traditional, passive, media. When I'd flip through the news paper, I would invariably see stories that I wouldn't have been looking for, but because they're there read, find interesting and ultimately make me more informed. I wonder that because it's so easy to narrow the information stream that comes to me, am I becoming less knowledgeable about what's going on beyond my news reader.

One resource I use that helps is Digg (or better yet, Digg Swarm.) The problem is, it's not local stuff and is still pretty tech heavy in content. I haven't decided how this will all pan out yet, but in the mean time, I think I'm going to start reading the paper again.