Cross-posted on Inside Higher Ed
About a month ago, I decided I'd had my fill of the Silicon Valley tech blogs. I can't even remember now what triggered it -- a thousand different blog posts, all restating the same thing about the latest iPad probably.
So I unsubscribed to all the tech blogs in my feeds. Techcrunch. The Next Web. GigaOm. ReadWriteWeb. The Verge. Pando Daily. Unsubscribed to the lot of them (save O'Reilly Radar, admittedly, as I do freelance there).
I still follow a Twitter list of tech publications. I read The New York Times' tech section. I read The Atlantic's. I even get Techmeme's Tweets pushed to my iPhone (thanks Boxcar!), giving me the major tech headlines of the day in close-to-real-time. What else do I need to know?
The answer, of course, is "everything." I am a tech writer after all, and even if my primary focus is ed-tech I thought for a long time that I had to know the major trends, the major players, the major entrepreneurs, the major investors.
But wading through all the tech blogs wasn't worth my time. I could know all those things without reading them. And I figure that ed-tech's what matters most to me, not the tiny details of the tech industry at large. And I have my own ways of keeping up with ed-tech that don't involve reading news about it in the "mainstream" (or Silicon Valley) tech blogs. I use Twitter extensively. I still read specifically ed-tech focused publications. I read educators' blogs. I have multiple Google Alerts.
And so over the past month, what have I missed?
In a nutshell: nothing.
I haven't missed anything important. I haven't missed the tech blogs at all.
There's so much repetition and posturing in the tech blogs. One news item, one update, launch, press release, funding announcement -- it appears in multiple iterations across them all. Every news item, every feature update, every upgrade, every personnel change, and oh let's not forget every little piece of Silicon Valley drama.
I'm done with wading through it all, hoping to find something about education technology. And so "unsubscribe." "Unsubscribe." "Unsubscribe."
I rely instead on others, on curation -- on those I follow on Twitter, and on Techmeme. It's given me pause in thinking about the future of RSS, of course, although I do still have a Google Reader chock full of subscriptions.
So in the past month, have I missed any ed-tech news? Maybe. But if so, it's because no teachers I follow on Twitter tweeted about it. It triggered no Google Alerts. Nobody said "Hey, check this out!" And so I didn't.
And wow, I am so much happier for it. Strangely enough now, I think I'm reading more too -- just not so much dross.
Photo credits: Daniel R. Blume