Last July, Justin Kownacki and I offered the Read it All Week challenge – to see what kind of effect forcing yourself to work through everything in your RSS reader queue would have on your personal media production, on your work habits, and on your life in general.
The question is simple; does consuming all of this media actually give you the benefits you think it does?
This year, in light of the fact that I’ve gained about 50 blogs over my pre-Read It All number last year, I’m going to suggest the same a little early. Starting now, I’m on an impromptu #ReadItAll experiment.
Want to join in? Thought you’d never ask!
Here are the guidelines for #ReadItAll Week:
- Mark All As Read right now – This isn’t a week for catching up, it’s a week for staying on task, or getting ahead, with your reading.
- Set aside some time every day to read. Maybe it’s an hour before work; maybe during lunch; maybe just before bed. Maybe all of these.
- Assess which physical media you’ll be including in this experiment. Magazines, newspapers, news television – whatever you include normally, be sure to add that to your planned list.
- Catalog your current content commitments. Even if its just a number, write out the amount of media you’re planning to attempt to keep up with. For example, my week will consist of [x] blogs in Google Reader, [x] hours of news television/radio, [x] podcasts and [x] print media.
- Mark the time, if you like, by reposting these guidelines to your blog if you have one. Letting people in on the process is a big part of any experiment.
During The Week:
- Actually read everything. Getting to “Reader Zero” is a noble task, but it requires that you actuallyread everything to assess its value.
- Resist the urge to subscribe to new blogs, just for this week. Bookmark new sources for review later, by all means, but consider that adding the commitment to new sources in mid-experiment changes the nature of the work.
- Take notes, if it helps. By all means, keep a running log of the experiment – I’ll be using #ReadItAll on Twitter to mark my observations.
Wrap-Up (Post experiment):
Examine the effects of the week on your reading. Did you keep up? Did you fall behind?
Mark your experiences with a follow-up post on Monday, June 20th.
And, of course, let people know! Tell us how the challenge worked out, how much you found that was useful, how many bookmarks you set. Now’s your chance to talk about your research process – or even just the experience of media consumption – with that critical voice you always avoid.
Welcome. And, good luck.