In response to John Poelstra’s recent post on Knowing Vs Doing:
I personally really like the “Knowing” side of things. I absorb a scary amount of things every day from the net. I read mailing lists, I am on a dizzing array of IRC channels, I read bugs people post about or refer to, I have a ton of RSS feeds and blogs, facebook feeds, etc. That said, I think it’s a balance for each of us, and sometimes it’s self correcting. If you find yourself slogging through posts on a mailing list, and it continues to be that way over time, you are more likely to just unsubscribe. If you find the traffic on an IRC channel holds little interest over time you are likely to /part it.
I think the best way to handle the overload is to ask yourself at the end of the day when you’re heading off to bed: What things did I get lots out of today? What things were wasting my time/interest? Perhaps if over time you keep thinking a particular thing was not interesting/useful, drop it, or switch to just ‘skimming’ it for people you know who interest you.
Also it is possible to change a information channel some of the time, at least talking about the Open Source world. If you find a IRC channel for example doesn’t have topics that interest you and you thought it would, then bring up those topics. Start others talking about them and joining the channel. Perhaps you can make the information more of interest and more containing a signal that not only interests you, but others.
We all have only so many hours in the day and so much we can absorb. Follow the things that provide you value. If you need information from a channel that doesn’t, perhaps ask someone who does follow it to summarize to you whats going on in there.