I used to read many more books than I do now, both fiction and non-fiction. But over years I’ve found video, audio and digital media getting added as important channels for learning along with the books.
I find blogs and digital magazines as the best channel for non-fiction as online articles can have embedded links to supporting references and tend to convey the key message better. I’ve started following a lot of youtube channels as while traveling on a bumpy road or standing in a metro train, watching videos can be easier than reading articles on a phone screen but I would say the preference is still 70:30 in favor of written material. However for fiction it’s the other way round, there are stories that Netflix and Youtube offer are at such convenience that it becomes much engaging and easier as compared with books and articles. Even for non-fiction, we’re getting so much video content these days with cool animations to explain concepts.
So I can say my preference is increasing becoming more evenly split between reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts and watching youtube and other videos. I spent some time in organizing all the content I consume for my own tracking, and hopefully makes it easier for someone new to take recommendations in bulk!
I’ve seen my average count of paper books to have come down to less than 5 per year. I still have a Goodreads profile but yeah it’s not as active as it used to be. I use Moon+ Reader to read my books, in epub format.
My main digital reading happens via Feedly where I follow too many blogs, that, to be honest, are getting harder and harder to keep up with. It also allows letting me save the best posts in a public board, here’s one on digital economy.
For blogs that publish posts multiple times a week, I prefer newsletters instead of updates per post. Well, these are mostly instituitions and not individuals and are often running the publication as their main business. There are also the ones that don’t publish RSS feeds and want users to subscribe to newsletters. I hear that building a community and a mailing list is a popular digital marketing strategy. Since there is already a problem of plenty, so I subscribe to a limited set of newsletters, and weekly (instead of daily) editions wherever possible.
For keeping up with Youtube channels I use InoReader, a worthy alternative to Feedly. I chose not to add video feeds in Feedly to keep blogs and youtube videos separate.
Lastly, there is a new class of content that’s taken the world by storm, Podcasts! No one knew internet radio would be cool again. Technically I wasn’t around when it was cool originally, so this all new for me! Every news channel and blog wants to have a podcast now, but not everything is meant for this medium. Much like how I split my videos, I’m following podcasts in Pocketcasts. Then I discovered there are podcasts, again publications and not individuals, that post too frequently, so I moved them to a Google Podcast app.
I also started listening to more longer audiobooks on Audible, but honestly, with too much content to catchup on, I couldn’t deal with the slow paced audiobooks, so I am no longer active on this medium, but it works for some people.
Lastly, I keep pocketing the tweets, youtube videos and articles I like. This helps me revisit these notes and add my comments. I was doing this on twitter before but logging bookmarks in a list makes it easy as the records can be sorted, filtered and exported. It comes at the cost of these notes not being accessible for discovery and comments but I’ve hardly had fruitful interaction on twitter where strangers found my tweets and added a new perspective to it. I might shift back, as the approach remains fluid, intent is to learn more from all possible directions and sources.
As you can probably tell, I am a hoarder of information, so if you come across any new blog, podcast or youtube channel, please feel free to share with me!