Today, the volume of information that we’ve too process is always increasing. That’s obvious. Nevertheless, our “biological bandwidth” doesn’t scale the same way and we need to become increasingly better at separating the signal from the noise. Ranking/Relevance algorithm in news platforms do a great job at this within the confines of the ecosystem.
For example, Facebook is the best at surfacing relevant information to you about your friends. However, Facebook can’t really help you curate the books that you should definitely read in your field, the articles that matter, or the upcoming trends (at least not yet). You could hypothetically reconfigure your newsfeed or your Twitter for that matter but there will still be a lot of low-signal noise that you will have to sift through.
I am not sure how much of a pain this might be but this problem is definitely affecting my productivity. My FOMO nudges me towards constantly checking a couple of news sites, social media and my email in an effort to stay on top of everything. This is obviously a constant distraction not only because of the time spent mindlessly reading low-signal content but also because of the switching cost that I incur every time I go from being focused to getting distracted to getting focused again.
A weekly newsletter/report that contains the top 10 pieces of content across the internet. This is not a news report. There are plenty of those out there. Instead, this focuses more on evergreen content that expands your mind beyond what your currently know. Focus could initially be on technology and/or psychology (two of top areas of personal interests).
The mission is to provide a one “universal” source of truth for what matters. This might sound overly authoritative but the intention is to remove the cognitive load of having to check a bunch of things and hope that you didn’t miss something important. Thus, this solution will be trusted as a source of “truth” of what’s important.
I believe that in the future people we will have much stronger curation tools that will help us make sense of all the information that we have. Some might argue that what I am proposing is more of a middle man that determines what you get read and what you don’t. That’s kind of true. However, I believe that there are methods to account for this phenomenon that can be built into the initial system. For example, giving the user control over the inputs that inform what they see, occasionally showing users information outside of their domain (note that I am not saying preferences), etc.
- The obvious one – will people find this valuable?
- How can you scale this beyond one vertical/category?
- How do you get access to the content?