Less content, More filters

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the weird transition I went through without my iPhone. At first, I missed it. Then I became desperate for it and felt like I was missing out on everything. And then, almost suddenly, I realized that the majority of content I consume on a daily basis – from the news to industry gossip to the latest creative – was essentially spam.

That might be a bit harsh. I do love reading and feeling like I’m ‘in the know’. But it’s the truth.

Today I went on my Google Reader for the first time in a week (a long time away from it for me). With over 100 sites and well over the “1000+ unread” items mark, it was overwhelming. Where do I start? What is actually worth me reading vs. ignoring?

The future (and by future I mean a few months) is going to be about filters. The idea that “if it’s important enough the news will find me” is true in a broad sense. I just hope that when it comes to what I like, my digital tools will help to keep the spam out and the good stuff in.

But it doesn’t stop there.

My reader was populated with content that I wanted to read. At one point, every site was individually added by me because the content attracted me for some reason. It got my attention and I decided it was worth a subscription. (my guess is that for every 10 sites I come across, I’ll actually subscribe to 1 or 2).

Now let’s put our advertising hats on. We are targeting (in most cases) people who are overloaded. Who have subscribed to their favorite sites with the hopes of getting a snip bit of content that they actually like. They don’t want to be interrupted, distracted or fooled. They want their content and they want to move on.

If you’re considering making an experience in digital, make sure it’s timely, immediately relevant and fun. After all, I’ve got 100 sites that I already know I love and not enough time in the day to make it through them. And that’s not even counting Facebook, Twitter or any email account (I’ve got 5).

What can you do to convince me to make it through yours?

Hint: it’s not a contest.

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