My use of the stream have now reached a point where I am no longer looking for news. Instead, my world is pretty much divided into two types of information. Updates that are followable, and updates that isn’t. I am now spending 99% of my time on the first group.
Every single day, my feed reader brings me roughly 5,000 articles (and no I don’t read them all). I see about 4,000 tweets, there are many hundred updates on Facebook, and several people send me emails about something I should see.
Without having to do anything I’m exposed to close to 10,000 things each day. I am truly living in a world where I no longer have to find news. It finds me.
This also means that I am no longer spending any time looking for news. I never read traditional newspapers. I don’t buy magazines. I don’t casually search for interesting things on Google. I already got far more news that I can possibly handle. And most importantly, I trust my network to alert me to important people or messages that I need to catch up on.
But, sometimes a friend asks; “did you see the images I put up in my website,” “or did you see that new website of [insert brand here].” And I always have to say no. I didn’t see any of it.
That piece of information wasn’t part of my stream.
I know I’m not a “standard person,” most people still look for information. But, there is a definite trend towards more people realizing that they do not have to find information; it finds you! ...if it’s relevant enough.
This is a very important change. It means that if you not a part of the stream, you don’t exist. If you are not making sure your content is accessible from wherever people are, you have essentially closed your business (really good article about that here).
Being a part of people’s streams is vital for publishers. It should be a really big concern for those thinking about creating a pay-wall (it cannot be a destination that people have to go to). It is increasingly important for brands... and in the future, it is also going to be very important for individuals.
I have long been at the point where there is no turning back. It is impossible for me to keep up manually.
What do you think? Are you a part of the stream? Are you less in touch with people who are not part of your stream, than with people who are?
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