Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Simpler Life: 100% time for the 20% meaningful


It's important in life to keep checking every now and then whether our actions are aligned with our priorities. I want to share with all an exercise undertaken to align my actions with objectives - and it may help you, too.

Making Time
I love new media. I believe in the power of the Internet as a tool of the people. Hence I center my work around the Internet, spending much time online on communities, educating, learning, interacting.

At the Vision 2020 conference in Karachi last month, futurist Rohit Talwar reminded that we have to create time for thinking by minimizing demands on our time.

Yesterday, prompted by a friend, I worked out an exercise on how I could make better use of my time online. To take immediate action, I made a simple list of my biggest energy-consuming activities online.

I listed 9 major items on one page of my diary, and on the opposite page, I wrote "solutions."

One of the 9 items was comments on my blogs.

Issues: Spam. Really cool comments buried on the comment page. Time needed to moderate comments. Serious discussions lost in comments. Anonymous comments with ulterior motives. Random comments. Etc.

Comments take much time monitoring and answering. Yet I often find little value in comments except that on some blogs, they create a space for user interaction - which is suitable to some blogs, not all.

I am philosophical. So here's how I see it: I am on the blog to say something - it's not a personal nor news-sharing blog, it's about certain views arrived at after thought and research. Those who agree with the views have nothing new to say. Those who don't agree have nothing I could benefit from - because my work is not an accident; I spend time researching and validating it.

Talk is easy. Internet talk is really easy. Which is why some are seriously considering putting a "price/quota" on talking via email etc.

The Law of the Vital Few...
...suggests that 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes. True. 20% of the audience provide 80% of the meaningful feedback, and benefit from the blog. The main purpose of this blog is to share work with those who need it; and that's the audience I wish to serve without distraction. To these 20%, I want to give 100%.

Now. Those who really have something meaningful to add, can email. The effort to email is a "price" that shows this isn't easy talk; it means something to the writer of the email. I usually get the most interesting ideas, and even case studies to support NEXT>'s work, by email. (Thanks!)

So. Comments are going. Feedback and exchange of ideas are not: just mail!

The regular readers of NEXT> will now find the blog's energy more focused.

P.S. Try at home! :)

E-mail: nextbyramla AT

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