I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
The first thing that struck me about this task (as I'm always negative), was the title for the segment, "Keeping Up." I know it's meant to be taken as keeping up with world news, trends, technology and so forth, but all I could think, is keeping up with what?
Keeping Up with the Joneses? If you type "keeping up" into google it suggests the Joneses have been long passed up by the Kardashians. So, do I really want to keep on top of the latest celebrity gossip, fashion and popular trends and fads? I was worried about the rabbit hole I was about to inflict upon myself.
My second thought as I looked at the two suggested readers was that both of them featured amazon like tech for detecting your likes/dislikes and then catering to them. If you like cats, not a lot of stuff about dogs is going to show up. It makes me afraid that people will only read what is fed to them, by these Feeds.
So, less dramatically, after reading some reviews I signed up for Zite. It was easy enough to navigate through, set up my interests and start looking through the suggested articles.
One of the first was "Break in a hardcover book (without ruining the spine)." A lifehacker article. I've never had the experience of needing to 'break in' a book. And looking that the accompanying illustration could only shake my head. The "Moral" according to the illustraton was "Even a well-bound book may be easily ruined on the first opening."
Then, boring of the the generated content I searched for a way to add subscriptions to things I actually wanted to read. I didn't spend much time looking, though, truthfully. I just gave up after trying a couple things and searching Google.
I'm just the type of person who'd rather choose the blogs/news feeds and other info sources that are sent to me, or encounter them more naturally, than have a constant stream of content bombarding me. It reminded me a bit of the novel The Circle, where the main character has to listen to a constant survey going on, smiling and frowning depending upon her opinion of whatever product or advertisement is being offered.
Zite, Flipboard and other e-content magazines need users to put in a bit of work on the front end, to thumb up or down content so that the end result is more or less only stuff the user is interested in, so in effect, you make your own magazine (or prison).
More work to define yourself and limit your exposure to anything with which you might disagree.
I really can see a future of Google glass wearers, earbuds (or maybe implants) planted firmly in their ears, nodding, frowning, mumbling to themselves, we won't be able to tell if someone's suffering delusions or just tweeting.
I also signed up for Flipboard and set up an account with them. Both accounts have the interests Libraries, Books and Technology. So far, the content has been fairly wide-ranging, but for the next few days I'll be thumbing things up and down, liking and ignoring various content, and I'll report back what sort of box I end up in.