I love RSS.
At least, I thought I did.
My RSS Reader (Google Feed Reader) currently has 90 RE.net blog subscriptions in it. That makes up over half of the total 162 RSS subscriptions I read on a daily basis.
I know there are people out there who read a lot more subscriptions than that. Pardon me for saying so, but that is CRAZY!
Honestly, most of the time, I simply scan through the feeds (a la Robert Scoble) by continually hitting “j, j, j. . .” until something catches my eye enough for me to read it. This cuts down on the amount of time it takes me to read the feeds of my favorite blogs.
But consumption of time is not the reason that I think my RSS reader may be evil. No, the reason that I think it may be evil is that I think it could be doing more harm than good to my overall creativity.
This idea came about as a result of an interview I heard with none other than Eminem on Sirius the other day. Eminem was asked about his creative process and how he receives inspiration and manages to keep his sound different from every other hip-hop artist. His response was that the first thing he does when he needs to write an album is: STOP LISTENING TO EVERYTHING ELSE. He said that he listens to no other hip-hop while he is writing, and hardly any other music at all. He listens only to the beats he is going to use, and he writes for those beats, or for beats yet uncreated.
What a good idea.
It was brought to my attention recently that I haven’t written much here on AG. That is not for lack of desire. Fact is, basketball and business and real life have me pretty busy right now. I haven’t posted as much as I would like anywhere, much less here on AG.
There is another reason, however, for my lack of posting. I have been struggling with quality content creation. Every person who cares at all about what they create cares also about making sure that their creations add value to the audience experience.
This is where I think my RSS reader might be evil. . .
You see, as a blogger, I not only write for blogs, but I read blogs. I do this through the aforementioned Google Reader. I do this because– well, heck, why DO I do this?
I guess I do it because every other blogger and Web 2.0 aficionado does it? No. That can’t be the reason.
I guess I do it because I want to know what everyone else is talking about. What everyone else thinks is important and relevant. I want to know what the other conversations are out there in the RE.net blogosphere. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
But wait, what if that’s a BAD thing?
What if, by reading what everyone else is saying, it makes it more difficult to find my own voice? What if listening to the cacophony of voices makes my own voice harder and harder to hear? What if constantly reading all those RSS feeds isn’t making me more creative, but instead hemming up my creativity through information overload and paralysis through analysis?
What if my RSS reader is evil?
That is a chance that I just can’t take. So in an effort to increase my creativity and create some quality content inspired by real life and not just another voice in the echo chamber. . .I’m going on RSS blackout.
That’s right. RSS BLACKOUT.
No RSS for the next 30 days. PERIOD.
It’s gonna be tough, but it must be done. All the inspiration for my posts over the next 30 days will just have to come from someplace else (gee, how about real life?). I’m telling all those other voices to shut up for a little while so I can clear my head. I’ll still be reading comments left on my posts, and by extension, probably coming across a blog post or two. And I’ll still be on Twitter, so those conversations will continue to enlighten and inspire, but as for the cacophony that is RSS. . .it shall be silenced.
So there it is, I’m going down the rabbit hole. But in a strange way, the journey should lead to greater clarity instead of confusion. On the other side should be sanity and creativity, not craziness and redundancy– I hope.
Wish me luck. . .