Increase Your Signal to Noise Ratio

For a few years I’ve been pulling in the feed from Lifehacker and it was good.  I was finding ways to make myself more productive, interesting applications that helped me organize elements of my life, do things better, etc.  Times have changed though and there’s much less in the feed that I’m finding relevant or useful.  Spending the time scanning through a fair amount of noise to find a few relevant tidbits of good signal has become a poor value for me.  So I’ve dropped Lifehacker from my regular feeds.

Why stop there though?  There are other feeds that I find interesting, but that I will likely not do anything with in the near or even moderately long term.  These are also adding their own form of noise and consuming time that I could be spending on efforts with greater relevance to my goals and active interests.  I’m going through my information sources, both in print and online, with eye towards how they contribute to my goals and my well-being.  Some examples:

  • xkcd.com – It makes me laugh, keep.
  • Lifehacker – I skip most of it these days.  Delete.
  • Quicksilver google group – Love the Quicksilver application.  The google group is more useful to me though as a reference as opposed to an active information source.  Delete.
  • Make Magazine – Here I’m on the fence.  I likely will not be making anything here soon, but the site is just so cool…  For now I’ll keep it for the inspirational value.
  • Serious Eats – While this one aligns with my interest in food, it’s too general and I skip most of the content so it’s removed from my feed.
  • Dropped most of my magazine subscriptions.  There was a time I was subscribed to 3 or 4 wood working magazines and the unread issues were stacking up.  Now I don’t have a growing pile on my desk reminding me I’m not keeping up.

It’s ridiculously simple to subscribe to content online and wind up hip deep (or worse) in posts, tweets, news feeds and email. Get off the lists that don’t serve you, the noise level goes down and what remains is a high(er) quality signal.

Posted by Ken

Toastmaster, Woodworker, Craft Beer Enthusiast and dutiful supporter of three demanding house cats. I'm also an experienced Software Engineering Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Information Technology and Services industry. Skilled in Operating System Development, Unix, SPARC Servers, Wordpress and PHP.

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