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Creative process with pen and paper.

A reading flow for Technology Intelligence

Every day I keep up to date by reading news, articles and guides on general themes and technologies. I have two main objectives: detecting the novelties and subjects that can improve my way of working and at a slower pace understanding the evolution of work.

This short article is a reflection on how I am perceiving this process describing where it is working and where it is failing.

The incoming flow

Mainly I use RSS feeds from around 50 different feed sources.

My main sources are Ars Technica, the Changelog, le Courrier International, Hackers News and many tech gurus writing about a specific field such as database, artificial intelligence, or project management.

About my sources - a continuous selection process

I used to have 200 different sources. I was only adding sources and I always felt swamped until I decided to start the process of throwing away the one that made me feel that I was wasting time.

Now, after reading a few articles that are not aligned with my expectations, I remove the source in order to spare some time.

Hacker News helps with detecting the new sources. I have also figured out that the best post on Hacker News will be featured on the Changelog a few weeks later. I read a few articles on the source, evaluate the content quality and then add it as a new source.

Progressively the quality of my source is decreasing. The internet used to be a goldmine in the 2000s. Now the dark side of SEO is turning many resources into simple click baits. At this point my vision of a gloomy future is that more and more content will be GPT-3 generated articles that sound good but are meaningless.

Progressively I am switching to paid content. I am using GetAbstract to process more books and identify the one worth the time reading them. Book reading is a different process and helps less with Technology Intelligence that with deepening some knowledge.

For years, I have been looking in awe at Gartner. I recently even had a phone contact about their offer and well… Price is too steep for my line of work.

Selecting what to read

This is a mental state I put myself in. For 30 minutes per day I scan all the sources and select what I want to read. For some sources I just browse the titles; for other sources I need to read the head paragraph as well.

I am marking everything noteworthy in that process. I try to do this in the morning to prepare the pauses I am going to make.

Should I encounter a brief news item (less than two minutes read) I will read it directly to avoid losing time by getting back do it.

I try to do only this once per day. I figured out watching for the news to pop could enable procrastination.

Actually Reading

Reading everything at once could be tiring. Reading is a way to mark a pause during the day. Sometime an article on right on the spot of something that I am doing, sometimes it’s a getaway that helps me to breathe.

I try to stop reading as soon I realise that an article is not helping me to learn. Some time the structure of the article gives it away, sometimes I don’t follow at all the reasoning.

I also switch to speed reading when the content is good and probably not worth spending a 30 minutes read time.

Keeping and improving.

I use a wiki to store the enlightening articles. With the time investing into selected and then reading the article, I have a sensation of waste if I do nothing with it.

I feel that this part still needs a lot of improvement. I don’t have a clear process a making ideas emerge out of the wiki. I feel that I should spend more time writing about them to improve my focus and my clarity.