I do the vast majority of my reading on the web these days. It exposes me to a breadth of fact and opinion that’s hard to get otherwise, but it’s really cut into my consumption of longer form writing, like meaty magazine articles and books. I started using an RSS aggregator to try and make my reading more efficient, but that efficiency has just gone to broadening the sources of information I consume.
I’m not willing to say that I’ve sacrified depth in this approach. Different angles on the same topic come up repeatedly, and the act of stiching such diverse points of view together is a deep activity. Another source of depth come from the fact that most of my RSS reading is from single author blogs. Those authors tend to pursue the same topics over time, and by reading them, one gets a sense for how their own thought evolves. It’s a bit like reading the ongoing drafts of a book that may never be finished.
At the same time, this might not be the most efficient way to gain a deep understanding, it certainly doesn’t take advantage of all the synthesis a book author does, but I think it’s probably one of the most efficient ways of keeping up on topics for which no books have yet been written, and its that sort of frontier that has always fascinated me.
Still, I need to make the time and attention for longer form reading. I particularly miss the pleasure of reading a good novel, perhaps most of all the way my own ability with language seems to expand when I’m spending time immersed in someone elses words for a day or more.
Most of which somehow brings me to the reason I started writing this post, to reccomend “Emergic.org”:http://www.emergic.org, which rather accurately and concisely describes itself as “Rajesh Jain’s Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Enterprises and Markets.”
It’s obvious that Jain is a prolific reader of other weblogs, and he shares the best bits in well chosen blockquotes, adorned with brief comments, and interspersed occasionally with larger expressions of his own thoughtful perspecitve. If you are interested in emerging technologies, particularly around wireless and inexpensive computing; emerging markets, particularly india; and the accompanying business models that are emerging around them, give it a read.