Giga OM founder and prolific reader Om Malik posted a reflection on his reading habits on his blog that got me thinking about the way we consume, rate and appreciate content online. In this post, Malik shares some of the dialogue he has with the CEO of Pocket, a read-it-later service that allows you to save webpages you’re unable or unwilling to read at the moment you find them. It’s a great service and I love using it, but it is a source of guilt — which is what struck me about the exchange. I, like Malik, am also a voracious book buyer. My ‘to-read’ list is enormous and I am constantly feeling behind or wondering whether I have sufficiently caught up or processing what I need. Talking with others, this is shared and clearly Pocket is aware of this. The metric of words saved and read which, in the case of Om was two novels worth per month, is oddly reassuring that all that content consumed in webpages and tweets and such is adding up to something. The bigger issue and quest might be (a la Dr Strangelove): how to stop worrying and love content.


One of the things I like about the internet (as opposed to hating it) is the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with really smart people and walk away more educated from those interactions. Earlier this week, I blogged about my save-and-read-it-later habits based on data from Pocket, which is my de facto TiVo for the web. My conclusion looking at the data was that I am reading a lot less than I thought (only about a third of what I was saving) and promised to work harder to get through more articles.

This prompted a response from Pocket CEO Nate Weiner and his editorial director, Mark Armstrong, who said that I have to look at it as a glass half full, not glass half empty. In his blog post in response to my post, Mark wrote:

“There is a misperception that Pocket should be treated like…

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Posted by Cameron D. Norman

I am a designer, psychologist, educator, and strategist focused on innovation in human systems. I'm curious about the world around me and use my role as Principal and President of Cense Ltd. as a means of channeling that curiosity into ideas, questions, and projects that contribute to a better world.