Monday, May 28, 2007

Catching up

I just returned from an 8 day holiday. And since this was a bicycle holiday in the center of France, I've been disconnected from the internet for over a week. So of course today I'm spending much of my day catching up with what's been going on. And the amount time it takes to catch up these days is starting to worry me.

It's amazing -to me at least- how much information I apparently consume during a normal week. There were about 300 emails at work and in private mail boxes. Granted, most of these were automatic emails from build systems, newsletters and the like. But even after scanning those, there are still about 60 emails that require my genuine attention. To some of you that might be peanuts, but to me it means another 5 to 6 hours to read and answer them. And that is excluding the time I've already spent this morning answering email from friends who were apparently unaware of my short holiday. Sorry guys!

But what I really start to notice is that these days most information reaches me through feeds (both RSS and Atom) via my trusted Google Reader. Although Reader refused to tell me anything more useful than the fact that I had 100+ unread items, a quick count shows that there were about 600 items in my list. That's a lot of news people!

Luckily I can quickly mark all items read in many feeds, like Slashdot and dZone. I normally quickly scan these feeds for interesting stories as they arrive, but I can easily skip a week. If something really interesting happened on any of those feeds, it'll probably show up on other feeds too.

But that still leaves me with feeds that I really value. Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror has been a busy guy and posted no less than five stories. I've already read a few, and they seem as interesting as ever. There is of course the weekly column by Cringely, which -although not always interesting to me- is a must read for anyone in tech. And after that, there's still TheServerSide, A List Apart, Ajaxian and many others. It looks like I'm fully booked for the rest of the day. People should really stop writing all this interesting stuff... at least while I'm on holiday.

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