Information Diet

Written by David Sherry

Information diets have been on my mind lately. Then, I saw this short talkwhich further intrigued my thinking. I will be sharing a few posts on information here and on my daily Brand focused blog Art $ Attention.

Here are some ways to think about your information diet, in no particular or order:

Long-form <––> Short-form

What's the duration of consumption from long form (books) to short form (tweets) to everything in between. The benefits of a long time horizon are often depth, while benefits of many short form pieces of content is context.

Do you snack often? Have big meals? Only eat dessert? What's the nutritional quality of your consumption?

What ratio would you like to be at?

Conversational Information vs. Packaged Information

Social Media brought us a new form of information that mimics real-world communication but abstracted away from any face to face meeting; Conversational Information, which convey’s context, feelings and insights in stackable form that are relayed back and forth in conversations, threads and replies.

This medium emerges in real-time and often relates to shorter term context signals being put out in the market. Conversational Information is largely reactionary. And it's largely reactionary to recent consumption.

This is in contrast to Packaged information: information that is created with a clear package around it, information thats edited, information that has a purpose or intention.

Packaged Information's benefit is that it's condensed intentionally and refined.

The negative side effect of Packaged Information is it can simply be incorrect, or be a larger part of an agenda, like propaganda,  where people spend hours crafting information to manipulate your agenda to fit theirs.

The negative side effect of conversional information is that it's short term focused, and leans towards reaction/gossip.

Consumption vs. Production

Do you fast? Do you consume more than you produce in exchange? What ratio would you like to be at each day?

Information Diversity, Information Health

How interdisciplinary is your consumption?

Are your sources fixed or diverse? How do algorithms or individuals limit or impose their bias in what you consume?

Topically, how diverse is your information. Fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, romance, research… each is like a different food type in the pyramid. Each feeds you in a different way.

How healthy is the information?  Has it expired?

Is it “fatty” or “sugary” or the type that you need today to be productive?

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Regardless, a well-balanced information diet seems appropriate.

Obviously there is no one right diet that everyone should follow.

Rather, it's just important that it's a diet that you choose.

xx David