probablytom

Blogroll

Published 4 months ago.

Wait, this doesn’t look like a blogroll

No. I like the concept of a blogroll, and in the old “blogosphere” they made sense, but that world no longer exists and the way we consume content has changed a lot. Also, shouldn’t there be more than just blogs in the list anyway?

This is a list of things I’m reading now, or trying to read, or at least an aspirational collection of my inputs.

Methods

I’ve tried reading some content digitally; it just doesn’t work for me. Periodicals, mostly. There was a revelation for me there in that the way in which I read impacts whether I do, what I’ll retain, and what my tolerance for distraction is.

Put that way, it sounds obvious, but noticing it has made a big improvement to my reading life. I’m still learning about this part of myself.

So: how do I consume content?

I try to stay away from other content.

Periodicals

This is an easy section to put first, because there’s really not much here. The LRB and the Guardian are my poisons of choice. I’m curious to read more of the New Left Review and Monocle, but they’re a little too artsy to keep my focus right now. When I’m better at sitting down and immersing myself in the written word — without getting distracted by some youtube video or my latent snack habit — I’d like to expand this section.

Blogs

Blogs! Blogs forever. I’m a huge fan of curating trusted thinkers and reading specifically their output, so blogs collected together in a good RSS reader — I use Reeder — are a blessing for me. The benefits are two-fold:

  1. When somebody publishes something new, I don’t have to remember to check the blog. That means someone who publishes infrequent but high-quality content doesn’t get forgotten about: I subscribe, and their content bubbles up to the surface when I need it to.
  2. There’s no algorithm, at all. I pull the content I’m interested in, I read it in an environment I control (no ads, tracking, and so on), and I sort and filter it however I like.

So, less distraction, more high-quality content. Yes please! Here’s some of what I enjoy, when it does bubble up (some of these post quite infrequently)…:

News and magazines

I’m bad at keeping up with the news (or, is that good?) — but this is what I typically read to get a sense of what’s going on in the world.