A Rant About Content Overload

I struggle daily between the creation/capture/manipulation/production of my content, and the consumption of others’ content. With all the web play-pretties out there, it’s a hard journey to weed out the things that are just fluffy entertainment from the things that can challenge me, my art, and make me see things a little different. I’ve contended for years that the MTVisation of my generation has killed our ability much of the time to focus on any one thing for very long. We seem to consume content in short spurts, just the way the old MTV used to feed it to us. Interestingly, those timeframes aren’t terribly dissimilar than the amount of time a quarter would buy on a video game or pinball machine.

Periodically, I go through a big purge. For example, I have well over 2000 emails to myself from work or other places, informing me of some website I found, some idea I had, some concept that I thought would be good to write about. This “note to myself” has been pretty helpful for some things, but generally, I never look at them again, except in a fit of housecleaning my inbox, finding these voices from my past so old and outdated as to be useless in the here and now.

NewsFire (a *terrific* newsreader on the Mac platform) has 782 RSS feeds waiting for me right now. At times it has been over 1000. I have updates I wanna do to MySpace, Flickr, Deviantart, Classmates, Twitter, Plazes, LinkedIn, and my own sites, in order to drive some exposure for my work. I have 60,000 images in my library, most of which need to be cataloged and keyworded, and many of which could actually turn into saleable art. I have easily 10,000 scans of images from my family that need to be posted somehow, and made available for comments so that the far-flung family can tell me who’s who, where they are in the images, and why, before there’s no one left who knows or remembers. I have cycling I want to do. I have a horribly stale gallery space in St. Charles that desperately needs some attention and rework. I have at least two photography-oriented organizations in town that I want to begin working with. And my copy of WordPress is telling me there’s a new release that should be installed tonight. And I have half a dozen or more books that I wanna read, each of which will have nuggets o’ knowledge that will help my work my images.

I’ve got a lot of consumable content queued up.

The challenge between creating the content my soul needs me to create, and enlightening it with new concepts from around the net without falling into a pit of self-indulgent web-based clickery is… well, it’s hard. Somehow, I’ve got to get better about filtering out the inspiring from the inane, the deeply funny (because laughter is a great thing!) from the guy getting his privates compressed into an octave or two higher singing voice on a outdoor stairway rail while skateboard sliding down it, and the beautiful animals in nature from the little dog who can grunt out “I love you” to the camera.

It’s all about priorities. When I went to the Mac platform almost three years ago, one of the big banners I marched beneath was the “it just works” banner. The good news is that it does. The bad news is that it does it almost too well, making it entirely too easy for me to chase the shiny objects, and not push my dreams into reality. The time has come to dull some of the shiny objects, and get the priorities in place.

So will you, the reader, notice anything different? Probably not. At least, nothing drastic. I will be doing some facelifting here and there, and things might be down from time to time as I work on upgrading stuff. But generally, I hope the biggest thing noticed will be a little more attentiveness to this site and the others, and more new content on all the sites.