Tech writer Farhad Manjoo is supposed to be obsessed with the latest online gadgets. But instead, he has designed a straightforward system for surfing the web.
In a tech column in Slate, Manjoo dismisses a more modern approach for high-speed browsing. Most experts advocate a tool called Really Simple Syndication (RSS) that aggregates all of the content from your favorite sites into one location. Manjoo notes, however:
RSS started to bring me down. You know that sinking feeling you get when you open your e-mail and discover hundreds of messages you need to respond to—that realization that e-mail has become another merciless chore in your day? That’s how I began to feel about my reader. RSS readers encourage you to oversubscribe to news. Every time you encounter an interesting new blog post, you’ve got an incentive to sign up to all the posts from that blog—after all, you don’t want to miss anything. Eventually you find yourself subscribed to hundreds of blogs, many of which, you later notice, are completely useless. It’s like having an inbox stuffed with e-mail from overactive listservs you no longer care to read.
Instead, Manjoo advocates setting up a handful of bookmarks that each open multiple tabs. Label each group based on activity. Since Manjoo is a journalist and needs to stay on top of breaking news, he names his collections based on time of day. The 8AM group is for first thing in the morning. His lunchtime collection includes sites best enjoyed over a sandwich. This system improves overall enjoyment and productivity.
Of course, there is no need to limit the selections to blocks of time. Tab groups could be labeled “vendors”, “competitors”, “partners” and “local news.” Employees might want to keep a “humor” selection on hand to help recover from loss of motivation at the office. This approach can also be used to self-monitor the time spent on Facebook and other social media sites.
One might assume that everyday activities like surfing the web are already fully optimized. But Manjoo’s method shows a smarter way to work. Like the story of Roger Kay’s aging laptop, this solution did not require new technology. Instead, this approach is using existing features more intelligently. Organizations should be ready to embrace change at every level, especially the tactical humdrum of day-to-day events. The tools we need may already be in our hands. Learn more. Talk to the business consulting experts today.