Wanted: an attention span

For anyone following me on Twitter, I’d like to offer a half-apology, half-warning: please don’t look at my favourites list.

Presumably, people use “favourites” for tweets they really like, and want to make sure people can access long after the tweet is no longer being retweeted and shared.

I use it as a means to come back to things I mean to read later. Since I run Tweetdeck on my computer at work, I use favourites to bookmark anything I don’t have time for at the moment but want to come back to later, including videos, long profile pieces, even short articles I’ll put aside for later; it depends what I’m doing. I also have Twitter on my phone so if I skim through tweets while waiting for a friend or something, I’ll add favourites then too.

And they just keep piling up. Recently, I started going through them, hoping to clean some out (if I start reading the link and it isn’t what I thought it was, or if it’s something I can read and forget, then I unfavourite. Other stuff I will read and leave on there, because I know I want to keep it for a bit, but I’m not sure what to do with it). Other than that, the only time I’ve sat down to go through my favourite list was when I was stranded in a Second Cup in Leduc and waiting for the AMA guy to rescue my keys out of my locked car.

The problem is, I don’t seem to have the attention span for it. I want to go check Facebook, I want to go play with my Wii, maybe go read a couple chapters of my book.

I’m looking into Read It Later right now, which lets you save things for offline reading and between devices (so I can access the same list on both my computer and phone) so we’ll see how that goes.

I find that I’m a bit more successful reading .pdfs than I am reading directly online — I’ve realized this because in addition to Twitter-gathered links, I also read pieces nominated for magazine awards. (Also check out Western Magazine Awards, but not sure if you can see the actual piece.) Some are nominated/awarded for layout and photos, others for their writing, so if you’re looking for something specific (usually I’m looking for writing, but all of it is interesting), pay attention to the category when you’re clicking an interesting title. The links I gather from Twitter include Longreads, which, while I’m not crazy about all of the pieces and it takes some digging to find the good ones, I still love the site and Twitter page. I wish I’d known about the profile-pieces aggregation when I took a profile writing class in university and had to find profile pieces to discuss in class.

And after I’m done with Read It Later, I also want to find the application that this guy talks about.

It might eliminate my ridiculously long favourites list, but I make no promises.

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