It may seem obvious to some wiser than me, but every now and then I realize that I need to disrupt my habits, force-inject some new behaviors and shift-reload the inputs into my thinking.
Above you can see what the top left corner of WebKit looks like to me everyday. In a nutshell, it depicts the places I visit the most. You’ll notice that TechMeme comes second after the Ma.gnolia bookmarklet. That’s a pretty prime spot to occupy in terms of shaping (or warping) my perspective.
Don’t get me wrong: TechMeme is a very well executed news service; above all else, its presentation and hierarchy of information is excellent and serves my goal of consuming a lot of information in aggregate in a very short amount of time. It’s as good a zeitgeist as any when it comes to what certain people are thinking about.
And therein lies the rub.
TechMeme provides an interesting and compelling overview of what’s hot in conventional tech news. It is, however, overly self-referential, and, insomuch as it gives greater weight to certain “types” of people and posts, it ends up becoming necessarily echolalic more often than not. And on top of that, the pundits who are featured prominently on its pages (and who like to argue amongst each other who’s popular and who’s not (n.b. I avoided reading any of those posts during that maelstrom; I provide the link merely for context)) have certain priorities that, well, just don’t overlap so well with mine.
I mean, it’s good to know what’s up with Google and Yahoo and Microsoft, and what the latest startups are up to and so on. It’s also fun to see what the latest controversies are over net discrimination and the what arcane nonsense is being attempted to fasten down the semantic web… But I think I’ve had my fill of that for now. Frankly, It’s time to turn off the firehose.
Maybe it’s because I’m leaving for a week Oaxaca and I need a reset; or maybe it’s realizing that I’ve so much to do and I have to stop measuring myself by what everyone else is doing (or has already done). Or maybe it’s because I can feel the sentiment and motivations of the tech community changing ever-so-gradually and becoming increasingly corrupt. Or who knows, maybe nothing has changed except that I need to rearrange some furniture just for the sake of change.
Whatever the case, it’s time to bid adieu to the link that’s been occupying second position on my browser’s bookmark bar for the last umpteen months. I’m going to have to go back to piecing things together one by one on my own; digging up my own dirt, assembling my own theories instead of the ones advanced by crowd economics, leaving the punditry to be consumed by other more capable pundits. Maybe I’ll come back someday — in fact, I probably will. But, as a sheer exercise of will (or perhaps as a mere act of intention), as of today, I’m leaving TechMeme.