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On Networks and Networking Awareness

I am concerned with not becoming too closed to rely on learning first from within my closest circle of friends. I realise it is a natural trend. I am far readier to accept recommendations to read from people I contact more often. As inspiring as they all are, gradually they are becoming my comfort zone of learning, which makes me wonder whether I practice what I preach.


I believe a network is an organic entity. It needs permeability. Some RSS feeds going in and out of my attention constantly. A network needs to allow me to reach the people and places where sense will be made here and now in my learning journey. This reaching out/pulling nodes process has to be elastic and fairly easy -at least in theory.

I find all of the above is related to the dichotomy sometimes expressed like this:
In blogs, you subscribe to content. In Twitter, you subscribe to the person.
Or vice versa. It does not matter too much. There is no correct way of doing it. What is necessary, if we are to make sense, is to be aware every time what, how and why we are subscribing.

Reading the Wise is easy, sifting for great thoughts in a sea of publications is more like the kind of advanced literacy we will need.

We go from content to people to achieve learning resulting in networking. My point is it should not end there. The process needs to restart all over again at several points.

Just wanted to note down this to bring me back to the original track. Sometimes I go astray in my learning journey.

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Claudia, I readily add new voices into my network but have a harder time trimming that back down to a manageable level. Considering that all of my feeds were discovered through a reference from someone within my current network, adding new influences is problematic as I not sure where to look for the new voices from outside the network that will help break me out of that comfort zone. How do you manage that?

I haven't come up with a management solution yet. My guess is that if we are using people as referrals only, we could try focusing on content again.

Perhaps having an RSS notification of blogs posts on a certain topic and then meet the people. Fresh start.

Are your RSS folders about topics or people?

In December I unsubscribed to all my feeds. All. It was difficult and painful. But necessary. I got a goodbye feeling. That made me realize I had been subscribed to people, not to content. Google Reader remained empty for some time. I didn't get bored, you know, so many opened channels...
Then I started to use feedly and read directly in the blogs, so I could see the text highlighted by diigo users or the comments on friendfeed and the content became more relevant once more. It got more dynamic, too. I don't know why I un/subscribe easily.

@Gabriela

Daring move to delete it all. I haven't thought of that yet.

I do think that attention is a scarce commodity that requires careful management. Shifting focus to a few feeds from time to time is good, I guess.

However, I would create a folder to highlight those feeds and mark the rest as read.

Thanks for the tool tips. I will explore.

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