Some say that your first post is the hardest. Well, here it is. It’s done. It’s out. It’s up. (Breathes sigh of relief)
I think it’s been hard for me because I just can’t reconcile myself to use the word “blog.” It sounds like a word a child made up.
Let’s call it an “online journal” instead, shall we? A document of thoughts, conversations, and things I find that might be of interest. A document of what I learned and what I want to share with you.
I spent the better half (the worse half?) of the past year reading. I think I was recovering from two really toxic situations and I needed help – help from experts, writers, and friends. And since I’ve never been good at asking for help, I burrowed into the world of books, articles, and other online reading.
(That wasn’t all I was doing: I started boxing again, I got coffee and lunch with interesting people, I applied to jobs, I volunteered, I put on a few events, I tour managed, and I taught a course at a local college.)
My whole career has been about moving things forward – for the businesses and organizations I’ve been honored to work with, the co-workers I worked with, the bands I’ve driven around the country, and the people I’ve set up shows and events with.
But sometimes you need to step back to move forward. And so I took a step back. And I read. A lot. My browser history is a mess.
As a result of that reading, I learned a few things along the way:
- The rate at which we are producing and consuming information is mind-boggling. Not surprisingly, it results in lower not higher productivity.
- It’s estimated that the average person will consume 15.5 hours of media (television, social media, online gaming) by 2015.
- Combine Internet consumption, mobile phone use, and television, and you’ll find that we now consume five times as much. information as we did in 1986…or the equivalent of 174 newspapers per day! (That was published three years ago, the number is no doubt higher now.)
- Every two days we produce as much information as we did in the entire time period from the dawn of civilization up until 2003!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a hi-tech lab rat “mindlessly pressing levers in the hope of receiving a pellet of social or intellectual nourishment.”
- It is far too easy to just check a few sites and read a few articles every morning. Then you peak your head out of the wormhole and find out that a couple of hours have passed. You’re squandering very valuable time that could be used in more productive pursuits. For me, I tend to lose my focus and it takes me a little while to get it back.
So instead, I think I’m going to try focused reading and research and drill down on interesting topics. In other words, focus your time and energy on what’s most important to you.
Finally, and this is the most important thing I learned: it’s not just about what you learn; it’s about what you share with other people. It’s about getting feedback. It’s about the give and take. It’s not enough to be a passive consumer of information. There needs to be a conversation.
So, what do you say? Should we start a conversation?